Raiders decline fifth-year options for DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs, DB Johnathan Abram
History will be unkind to the Raiders’ 2019 first-round draft class.
Defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram each had their fifth-year options declined, the team announced Friday.
Looking to make a huge splash with a bounty of first-round selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, the old Raiders regime of then-head coach Jon Gruden and then-general manager Mike Mayock fell flat.
The new regime of GM Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels deciding not to exercise any of the players options is unsurprising, perhaps with the exception of Jacobs, who’s been productive but injury-prone.
This doesn’t necessarily end the trio’s time with the Silver and Black, but all three are now bound for free agency after the 2022 season.
Ferrell was taken fourth overall in 2019, which was an eye-opening reach when it happened. He’s produced just eight sacks in 42 games since then, and Ferrell became a rotational player in 2021 with no starts.
Abram was taken 27th overall and played in just one game as a rookie due to injury. His style of play has often been characterized as reckless, but he is coming off his best season statistically, having tallied 116 tackles in 14 games, though he produced just a 56.9 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.
As for Jacobs, selected at No. 24 in 2019, he’s racked up 3,087 yards and 28 touchdowns in his three seasons, which included a 2020 Pro Bowl bid. He’s missed time each season and is a mainstay on the injury report, so durability going forward is likely an issue.
While the history books won’t smile on the Raiders’ first round, it deserves note that the draft class as a whole wasn’t a failure. The club has received decent contributions from second-round cornerback Trayvon Mullen and fourth-round tight end Foster Moreau, and has found standouts in wide receiver Hunter Renfrow (fifth round) and Maxx Crosby (third round), who has emerged as one of the top defensive ends in the NFL.
Nonetheless, if ever there was a reminder that this is indeed a new era for the Raiders, this was it.
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