As the No. 4 overall selection by the then-Oakland Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft, there were a lot of expectations on the shoulders of the 49ers’ newest defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell.
However, Ferrell had trouble living up to the selection status during his four seasons with the Raiders, as he only recorded 10 sacks in a total of 58 games in Silver and Black. As a result, the Clemson product has dealt with criticism, which he understands is part of playing in the NFL.
“I mean, is [criticism] fair? I think criticism is regardless of whether it’s fair or not; it just is what it is,” Ferrell told reporters Friday. “It comes with the territory. People always have whatever things they may have as far as an opinion to say.”
While Ferrell accepts there are critics for how he has performed so far in his NFL career, the 25-year-old also highlighted the maturation voyage that the ups and downs of the league take young players on.
“I think for me, man, I think it’s really been a blessing, whatever my journey has been the league because what many people don’t know is all these guys in the league, we’re still young, been developing at the same time over coming into this very high-status job,” Ferrell continued. “So I think going through the different ups and downs, whether good days, bad days, throughout my career, I’ve had time to really grow and mature as a man just because you’re making grown man decisions, grown man mistakes.
“Sometimes it’s like, especially me. I moved from the East Coast to the West Coast. So you can’t call on mom or call on your brothers all the time. So I think it’s been a really good transition for me. I think that for my career moving forward, it’s really going to show that I really appreciate those years for sure.”
The Raiders’ chapter might not have gone as Ferrell had hoped, but he now enters a situation with the 49ers where the edge rusher isn’t being asked to be the top pass rusher.
Ferrell signed a one-year deal with San Francisco for a fresh start in the Bay Area. The former Raider can use this opportunity to show he can become a solid depth piece on the defensive line and land a more lucrative contract next offseason.
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