In the first few days of training camp, Raiders left offensive tackle Kolton Miller and this year’s No. 1 pick, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, often were faced off in head-to-head matchups.
While Miller fared well, he told reporters he was impressed by Ferrell’s strength and speed.
Ferrell continued to fare well Monday when the Raiders put on the pads for the first time.
In fact, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther says three rookie defensive linemen – including Ferrell – are off to a fast start and he believes the defensive line as a whole will be much better in 2019 because of them.
“I’m going to say this about our whole draft class,” Guenther told the media. “These guys love football. These guys are into it. They’re smart. They take notes. (Ferrell) is an every-down end. He’s exactly what we thought he was, and Maxx (Crosby) is a guy we got in the fourth round who’s long, rangy. He’s got good bend. He can play the run, so he’s been a pleasant surprise for us, and then Quinton Bell, he’s a guy who played receiver at Prairie View. He’s a receiver six months ago … he’s got a great burst off the edge. He’s a guy we have to develop in the short term, but those two other guys have been tremendous for us.”
After his first day in pads against his teammates, Ferrell says he’s determined to play like a veteran rather than a rookie. He wants to make an immediate impact.
“You have to be physical,” he said. “You have to be a guy that sets the tone, sets the standard, and just be able to be held accountable and do your job.”
Miller says Ferrell will indeed have “an immediate impact on our team.” The other starting offensive tackle, Trent Brown, is equally impressed by Crosby.
“Maxx is good,” Brown said. “Maxx is good as hell. He can rush the passer. He can defend the run. He has a high motor. He’s going to be somebody to watch out for.”
Raiders training camp continues this week. The team’s first exhibition game is Aug. 10 against the Los Angeles Rams.