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Five Things to Know
The Kansas City Chiefs made an addition to their defense on Tuesday with the acquisition of 24-year-old defensive tackle Neil Farrell Jr. from the Las Vegas Raiders.
Here are five things to know about the newest member of the defense.
1. Farrell was a fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-4, 325-pound Farrell was the No. 8 overall defensive tackle prospect in the 2022 class according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, who identified Farrell as a fourth-round pick. The draft ended up playing out exactly how Brugler predicted, too, as the Las Vegas Raiders made Farrell the eighth defensive tackle selected that year, doing so with the No. 126 overall pick.
Here’s a portion of Brugler’s analysis from his pre-draft guide:
“Farrell has dominant flashes when his battery is charged, displaying hand techniques, backfield vision and force at the point of attack to defeat single blockers…Overall, Farrell doesn’t always play with balance or control, but he has surprising snap quickness along with his functional play strength that give blockers trouble.”
2. He appeared in nine games for the Raiders last season.
Farrell went on to appear in nine games for Las Vegas in 2022, logging 12 tackles, two quarterback hits and one tackle-for-loss. He recorded 158 total defensive snaps, splitting his time somewhat evenly between rushing (87 snaps) and passing (71) snaps.
3. Farrell is only two years removed from a strong senior season at LSU.
A three-year starter for the Tigers, Farrell appeared in 50 games (22 starts) during his five years on campus from 2017-21. He was a solid contributor through his first four years with the program – recording 99 tackles and 13.5 tackles-for-loss in 38 games – but he was even better during his final year in school, tallying 45 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks.
His increased production was due in part to an uptick in playing time, which Farrell – who checked in at 330 pounds in college – proved that he could handle. According to Dane Brugler, Farrell averaged 37.2 defensive snaps per game in 2021.
Brugler added the following about Farrell’s senior season in his draft guide:
“[Farrell] took on a leadership role as a senior and owns a ‘magnetic personality,’ according to the LSU coaches.”
4. He projects as a run-stuffing nose tackle in the NFL.
Prior to last year’s draft, the consensus among the experts was that Farrell projected as a run-stuffing nose tackle in the NFL. Dane Brugler said as much in his draft guide:
“At worst, he should be a rotational nose tackle in the NFL with potential to be more.”
Additionally, here’s more from NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein, who compared Farrell to Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader:
“Nose tackle prospect with a well-earned reputation for making it hard on blockers to do their job in the run game. Farrell has seen personal maturity and development in his play that allowed him to consistently bully opponents as a physical force in the middle in 2021…He will be somewhat tethered to home base but could help in upgrading a leaky run defense. Farrell is a two-gapping nose with Day 3 value.”
5. Farrell grew up in Mobile, Alabama.
According to Dane Brugler, Farrell was a basketball player through much of his childhood before joining the football team at Murphy High School. It was his first experience playing the sport, but in the years that followed, he quickly demonstrated a natural talent for it. He earned First-Team All-State honors multiple times and was a three-star recruit, checking in as the No. 25 overall defensive tackle in the 2017 class.
Farrell eventually chose LSU, and after a strong collegiate career and one professional season with Las Vegas, the former fourth-round pick is now a member of the defending Super Bowl champions.
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