Defensive end | Clemson | Redshirt Junior
Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 264 pounds
2018: 54 tackles (29 solo), 19.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, one fumble returned for a touchdown in 15 games (15 starts); ranked 17th in FBS with 0.77 sacks per game; consensus First-Team All-American; became school’s first two-time First-Team All-American since Terry Kinard in 1981-82; won Ted Hendricks Award (nation’s top defensive end); ACC Defensive Player of the Year; First-Team All-ACC; permanent team captain
Career: 164 tackles (83 solo), 50 tackles for loss, 28 sacks, seven pass breakups, five forced fumbles in 44 games; finished tied with William “Refrigerator” Perry for fourth-most sacks in school history; First-Team All-ACC in 2017; shared Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with Dexter Lawrence in 2016
View photos of Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell.
Summary: Ferrell bounced back from injuring his ACL during his senior season of high school at Benedictine College Prep in Virginia but redshirted in 2015.
He became a starter in 2016 when he recorded 50 tackles (12.5 for loss), 6.0 sacks and 24 quarterback pressures.
Ferrell progressed the following season and became the third Tiger freshman or sophomore in school history to earn _AP_ All-America First-Team honors (Sammy Watkins and Deshaun Watson were the other two).
He would have been eligible to enter the draft a year ago but opted to return to school and complete his college degree (doing so in December) to honor his late father.
The productivity continued as Ferrell helped the Tigers win their second national title in three seasons.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote that Ferrell’s frame and 34 1/8-inch arms are “prototypical” for a defensive end.
“Highly productive 4-3 defensive end with prototypical size, length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass,” Zierlein said. “Playing next to NFL talent in all three years certainly made things easier for Ferrell, but his edge-setting and rush plan improvements are self-made.”
Click here for Zierlein’s full report.
Stacking up (before the combine): Draft analyst Dane Brugler, who writes for The Athletic, ranked Ferrell as the fourth-best edge rusher. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks listed Ferrell as the fifth-best edge rusher in his newest post-combine positional rankings.
Ferrell is listed as the No. 22 overall prospect in NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s most recent top 50.
“Ferrell has excellent size, length and power,” Jeremiah wrote. “As a pass rusher, he lacks an elite get-off, but he has an effective dip/rip move and can generate some knockback with his hands.”
Making the most of every rep: Ferrell played just 691 snaps in 2018 for a loaded team that was on the field for 1,023 defensive snaps en route to winning the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“It was huge because obviously we push each other to a level that I can’t really explain,” Ferrell said at the combine. “It was truly a blessing to go through it with those guys because there’s some things we did off the field that really prepared us and made us better as far as our careers. And also, just the aspect of there’s not a lot of plays to go around out there when you’re playing with guys like that.
“It really taught me the mentality of not taking any plays off, of learning to really push and fight every single play, because if you want to have an impact you gotta scratch and claw with my brothers out there,” Ferrell said. “So it was really, really good. We made it a competition for sure.”