The Khalil Mack trade didn’t leave the Oakland Raiders with much of a pass-rush this year. What little pass-rush they do have comes from defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, who has 4.0 sacks. So a large portion of Raider Nation is watching scoreboards for the rest of the season hoping the Raiders can draft No. 1 edge-rusher and overall prospect Nick Bosa next spring.
With a win against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 11, the Raiders are no longer in the driver’s seat to pick first overall in the 2019 NFL Draft but remain in the top three behind the 49ers and Cardinals. There’s still a ways to go before we actually know where the Raiders will pick next spring but should Bosa not be an option at their draft position all would be lost.
Bosa is the best edge-rusher prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft but not by that much.
Like Bosa, Clemson edge-rusher Clelin Ferrell could have been a top-10 pick last year but stayed in school. Outside of Ferrell redshirting and Bosa playing as a freshman, their career trajectories have been darn-near identical. Ferrell had 6.0 sacks to 5.0 for Bosa in 2016 and both of them had 8.5 five sacks in 2017. Then this year, Bosa had 4.0 sacks in three games before going out with a core injury and Ferrell has 10.5 sacks in 11 games.
Bosa is the No. 1 prospect in this draft because he’s the most technically sound. He often wins easily because he uses his hands so well to get opposing offensive linemen’s hands off of him. But Ferrell is polished too as he consistently swipes at hands to beat blocks.
Physically, Bosa looks a little stronger but Ferrell looks more athletic with his get-off and burst off the edge. He also looks a little longer in the arms to keep opposing offensive linemen a little further off of him. This isn’t to say he’ll be better than Bosa but Ferrell could end up better because he has more upside while Bosa is more of a finished product.
A lot of Raiders fans are rooting against the Raiders these days because they want the No. 1 pick. But if the Raiders don’t end up with Bosa, they can still significantly improve their pass-rush. If the develop him right, it is possible for Ferrell to end up better than Bosa. So you can watch each game without having to hope the Raiders lose while the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers win.