The Final Four in college football is here, and with the 49ers and Raiders currently set to both pick in the top four, there will be plenty of players to watch in the two games.
Starting with the Cotton Bowl, here’s who the 49ers and Raiders should pay close attention to when Clemson plays Notre Dame.
Clelin Ferrell, DE (Clemson)
Most assumed Ferrell would enter the draft after his redshirt sophomore season last season. But he came back as a junior and clearly fits the biggest need for the 49ers and Raiders as an edge rusher to get after the quarterback.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Ferrell has ideal size and length for the next level. As The Draft Network notes, “Ferrell knows how to use his gifts on the field and make plays.”
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) November 28, 2018
The past two seasons, Ferrell has totaled 113 tackles (35.5 for loss), 20 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one touchdown. He will receive strong consideration from the 49ers or Raiders with the teams’ top pick.
Julian Love, CB (Notre Dame)
Love was ranked as Pro Football Focus’ seventh-best cornerback in college football this year with a 90.0 overall grade. The last two seasons, he’s had four interceptions, but he has a knack for knocking balls down with 35 passes defensed (15 this season, 20 as a sophomore).
There’s no good time of year for a breakup, but on the eve of the Cotton Bowl, check out Notre Dame All-America corner Julian Love’s four tips to pulling off the perfect one: https://t.co/78l6S91uY0pic.twitter.com/0pPD9KyeqG
— SI College Football (@si_ncaafb) December 28, 2018
Size (5-11, 193 pounds) could hurt him, but the 49ers should take a look at him on Day 2 if he’s available.
Te’Von Coney, LB (Notre Dame)
As Scott Bair has written, the Raiders have to find a long-term solution at middle linebacker. Coney could be the answer with one of their two picks towards the end of the first round, or at the start of the second round.
While Coney may have athletic limitations, he has a nose for the football and has been pure production for the Fighting Irish.
Te’von Coney had a great season all across the field for Notre Dame pic.twitter.com/plCqiSZQbB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 9, 2018
I don’t get the sense that ND Senior LB Te’von Coney is a great athlete, but I want the guy on my team. 6’1″/240lbs. Great nose for the ball. Consecutive plays in the redzone: pic.twitter.com/dSCvEmlmiu
— Jared Stanger (@JaredStanger) September 7, 2018
Coney, 6-1 and 240 pounds, has 297 total tackles (22.5 for loss) in his four years at Notre Dame with 6.5 sacks. He is someone that could come in and play right away for the Raiders.
Here’s how 49ers and Raiders fans can watch Clemson play Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl:
When: Saturday, Dec. 29, at 1:00 p.m. PT
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN