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Las Vegas Raiders’ Clelin Ferrell officially hits bust status as healthy inactive

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Former No. 4 overall pick Clelin Ferrell will not be active for the Las Vegas Raiders as they host the Baltimore Ravens on “Monday Night Football.”

Las Vegas announced its inactive list ahead of its season opener, and Ferrell has been classified as a healthy scratch.

By definition, the former Clemson standout can now be considered a draft bust. Ferrell, 24, has recorded all of 18 quarterback hits and 6.5 sacks in two seasons. Last season alone, he registered just two sacks in 11 games (all starts).

When general manager Mike Mayock and Co. made Clelin Ferrell the No. 4 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, it was considered a major reach. By making Ferrell inactive against Lamar Jackson and Co., the Raiders’ brass is now admitting its mistake. In fact, Las Vegas will only have three full-time edge rushers active for the game in that of Maxx Crosby, Yannick Ngakoue and Carl Nassib. That’s a less-than-ideal scenario against this Ravens defense.

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Clelin Ferrell is now a draft bust

las vegas raiders clelin ferrell
Aug 14, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) looks on during the second quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

If you look at the 2019 NFL Draft as a whole, it’s still hard to understand why the Raiders viewed Ferrell in such a positive light.

The likes of Rashan Gary (12th overall), Brian Burns (16th overall) and Montez Sweat (26th overall) are all edge rushers from that draft class who have performed at a much higher clip than Ferrell. Heck, the Raiders’ own fourth-round pick in that class, Maxx Crosby, has played at a higher level than his teammate.

Coming off a 2020 campaign in which the Raiders yielded nearly 30 points per game, any defender in the top 10 of the 2019 draft would have been seen as a better option for Las Vegas. That includes linebacker Devin White (fifth overall), defensive tackle Ed Oliver (ninth overall) and linebacker Devin Bush (10th overall).

Vegas has been looking for that elite pass-rush threat since Jon Gruden traded away Khalil Mack ahead of the 2018 season. Ferrell was expected to be that guy. However, the decision to reach for him with the fourth pick the following year set these Raiders back big time. Monday’s news that Clelin Ferrell is inactive for the season opener adds another layer to this.

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