In the third episode of draft season, I watch two of the most talented players in this years’ draft.
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Clelin Ferrell probably would have been a first round pick if he had declared for the 2018 draft. He decided to stay for another season, and he was rewarded for it with Clemson winning the national championship. He also cemented himself not only has a first round pick, but as a top 10 lock. Let me tell you why.
Ferrell has great strength and technique. My favorite part of Ferrell’s game is how he uses his long arms to keep offensive tackles from getting their hands inside of him. Ferrell also has good rip moves that work well in his pass rushes and run defense. Ferrell’s first step is extremely explosive, and he runs past inferior college tackles.
Ferrell is also a very intelligent player. He has received NFL-level coaching at Clemson from Brett Venables, and plays his assignments. Options that get run to his side tend to go poorly for the offensive team, and he is especially adept at recognizing quick passes and play action/boot plays.
The biggest knock on Ferrell will be his lack of athleticism and bend. He is a bit stiff in his lower body. Speed rushes and going down and around lineman is not part of his pass rush repertoire.
I really like Ferrell and he is currently #1 on my wish list for the Lions at #8.
COMP: Connor Barwin
Round Projection: Top 10 Pick
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Metcalf is a really great all around receiver worthy of a top 20 selection in this year’s NFL draft. He is still really young, he really only played 19 games in his college career since his 2018 season was cut short with a neck injury.
Metcalf has really impressive speed, route running, and run after catch ability for a guy of his size. He consistently beats corners with his footwork off the line of scrimmage. Press-coverage is not a hindrance to Metcalf.
Metcalf’s best trait is his ridiculous catch radius. Check out the first play of the game against Alabama. Throws that look like they will go way over his head somehow end up in his hands.
It’s really difficult to come up with weaknesses for Metcalf. He clearly is a high level NFL talent who has the ability to become a #1 receiver for a team immediately. His route tree is a little under developed, Metcalf only really runs vertical, hook, or short screen routes. Not too much experience running across the middle of a field. He is good at the routes he does run, but there’s some development that needs to happen here.
Metcalf has a great chance to be my #1 WR when it’s all said and done. As long as his neck injury checks out in Indy he will be early off the board in April.
COMP: Demayrius Thomas
Round Projection: Mid-1st