The San Francisco 49ers are set to lose two members of their edge rush room — as Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu reached an agreement on deals with the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively, on Tuesday, March 14.
But the 49ers already have someone lined up — as ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday, March 15 that the franchise have reached an agreement on a one-year deal for former top five draft pick and Ex-$31 million defensive end for the Las Vegas Raiders Clelin Ferrell.
Ferrell was at the end of his four-year, $31.3 million deal he signed in 2019 after entering the league as the fourth overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Can 49ers Save Ferrell? A Breakdown of How he Could Fit
Ferrell was considered someone with first round value following his run at Clemson. But few believed he would go into the top five. Yet, the then Oakland Raiders took him in inside the first five picks.
The 6-foot-4, 264-pounder was labeled a defender with the “prototypical frame with broad shoulders and long arms” for a defense as written by nfl.com draft expert Lance Zierlein. He added how Ferrell had the “length and strength to offer early help against both the run and pass.”
However, Ferrell’s Raiders career was marred by injuries and losing his starting position. Ferrell has never started a full season in his NFL career and in the last two seasons, has only started in a combine four games.
Because of injuries including dealing with a back ailment, Ferrell never established himself as a consistent pass rusher — as his best sack season was the 4.5 he delivered his rookie season. That was also the season he produced his most tackles for a loss with eight per Pro Football Reference.
But now, he’s heading to a defensive line coach who knows how to turn underachievers into achievers in the 49ers defense. There are 49er fans convinced Kocurek is the guy who can light a fire under Ferrell’s feet.
With his frame and arm length, he could be an Omenihu-type for Kocurek and new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks. But there’s another past 49er who could be the motivation on Ferrell’s side.
Former Teammate Recently Thrived With Kocurek
This wouldn’t be the first time a former Raider came over to the 49ers.
Arden Key, a past teammate of Ferrell’s for three seasons in the Silver and Black, was another past Raider getting the “bust” label as a third rounder for the Raiders. But once Key put on the 49ers uniform, Key saw a spike in his sack production and tackles for a loss — with Key getting six and five TFL’s, respectively, in his lone season with S.F.
Part of Key’s resurgence was Kocurek and former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans plugging Key in multiple spots. Key not only was aligned at his natural defensive end position, but also kicked inside as a three-technique — which resulted in offensive guards having a hard time containing his speed while Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa were part of the lineup in the trenches. There’s already the belief that Ferrell can be used the same way.
There’s also this: Ferrell is now teammates with another top five pick from that same draft class.