CLEMSON in the NFL

(USA TODAY Sports-Jeremy Brevard)
(USA TODAY Sports-Jeremy Brevard)

NFL draft: Former Clemson DE selected with No. 4 overall pick


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Former Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Oakland Raiders Thursday.

The selection matches the highest-ever for a Clemson product, joining Sammy Watkins (2014), Gaines Adams (2007) and Banks McFadden (1939). He combined with Christian Wilkins (No. 13 overall to Miami) and Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 to New York Giants)) to set a school record for first-round picks.

Ferrell was rated as high as the No. 17 player overall and the No. 5 edge defender by CBS Sports with projections in the mid-teens of the first round. Instead, Ferrell is projected a $31.3 million contract with a $21.6 million signing bonus per Spotrac.

"This might be a surprise to a lot of people seeing Clelin Ferrell go this high," NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. "But he's a very productive football player. A power rusher with plenty of effort...He's played big on the big stage...Guys, I'll tell you this. I did my homework and talked to all these scouts. I talked to his high school coach, talked to his college coach and teammates - he had the highest character of anybody I spoke to in this draft.

"And (Raiders GM) Mike Mayock said in his first press conference that we (Raiders) need foundational players. This is a foundational-type player. People will say it's too early but I think is a safe pick right in the middle of the fairway."

The Hendricks Award winner, awarded to the nation’s top defensive end, was a two-time first-team All-American.

The Richmond, Virginia native totaled 166 stops, 50 for loss, with 27 sacks over 44 starts with the Tigers.

He will be coached by former Tigers defensive lineman Brentson Buckner on the Raiders D-line.

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