Round 1, No. 4 overall: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
My take: The Raiders, who had a league-low 13 sacks last season and are looking for the next Khalil Mack, addressed a real and specific need in drafting the reigning Ted Hendricks Award winner in Ferrell. But they could have seemingly traded back, acquired another pick or two and still drafted him later. He is a nice player, though, with 27 career sacks, including 11.5 last season for the national champs at Clemson. Being considered a “high-character” guy, Ferrell seems to be a “foundation piece” for coach Jon Gruden and first-year general manager Mike Mayock. Before taking Ferrell, the Raiders had selected just one pass-rusher in the first round in the past 15 years — yes, Mack in 2014.
Honor and discipline: Both of Ferrell’s parents served in the military: father Cleavester Ferrell Sr., a first sergeant in the Army who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, and mother Faye, a staff sergeant who served in Operation Desert Storm and had previously been stationed in Germany, Korea and Japan.
Say what?: While many prospects use the combine to clear their name on alleged misconduct, Ferrell used it to tell people how to pronounce his name. His first name, specifically. It is pronounced “CLEE-lihn” as in “Cleveland,” sans the “D.” Said Ferrell, in Indianapolis: “Not trying to be a [jerk], but I take a lot of pride in it.”
What’s next: The Raiders still have two more first-round picks, Nos. 24 and 27.