Las Vegas Raiders make surprise decision on Clelin Ferrell

Tim Verghese3 days
Aritcle written by:Tim VergheseTim Verghese

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The Las Vegas Raiders made a stunning decision, holding former fourth-overall pick Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson out from the team’s season opener against the Baltimore Ravens.

Ferrell is listed as a healthy scratch for Monday Night Football. 

In 26 appearances, the Clemson product has recorded 65 tackles and 6.5 sacks. His absence on Monday leaves Las Vegas with just three active defensive ends against one of the best rushing teams in the league in the Baltimore Ravens.

Without Ferrell, the Raiders only active defensive ends are Yannick Ngakoue, Maxx Crosby and Carl Nassib. Defensive tackle Solomon Thomas could slide out to defensive end if needed as well.

Ferrell had been listed on the Raiders’ injury report early in the week with a back issue but was a full participant for the team’s three most recent practices.

Quarterback Nate Peterman, safety Roderic Teamer, defensive end Malcolm Koonce, offensive guard Richie Incognito (calf) and tight end Nick Bowers are the Raiders’ other inactives.

Josh Jacobs was listed as questionable with an illness but dressed ahead of Monday’s showdown with the Ravens.

Clelin Ferrell was the first draft pick made by Raiders GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden. The decision to draft Ferrell was controversial at the time as he was not expected to be a top-five pick over the likes of Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen or Florida State defensive end Brian Burns.

In three years in charge, Ferrell was the first of many controversial draft picks made by Mayock and Gruden. 2019 first round pick safety Johnathan Abram missed nearly his entire rookie year with a shoulder injury, then had a disappointing 2020 season. The Raiders top draft pick in 2020, wide receiver Henry Ruggs, was controversial given that CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson and Jerry Jeudy were still on the board. The Raiders’ second pick in 2020 was Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette, who is not listed as a starter entering his second season.

The Raiders have failed beyond the first round as well. The team tried to trade 2018 second-rounder P.J. Hall away last year, but he failed his physical and was waived. The Raiders cut third-round pick former Clemson linebacker Tanner Muse before Muse played a single snap in the NFL, in August.