Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin TE | NFL Draft Scouting Report


Wisconsin TE Jake Ferguson has been on the NFL Draft radar since his redshirt freshman season with the Badgers. Producing has by no means been an issue for the Madison, Wisconsin product. Nonetheless, as constant as he’s been throughout his faculty profession, does Ferguson’s scouting report carry sufficient weight to earn him an early choice within the 2022 NFL Draft? Let’s take a better look.

Jake Ferguson NFL Draft Profile

  • Place: Tight Finish
  • Faculty: Wisconsin
  • Present 12 months: Redshirt Senior
  • Peak: 6’5″
  • Weight: 246 kilos

Jake Ferguson Scouting Report

There’s no Kyle Pitts on this class, and Ferguson doesn’t have that upside. Nonetheless, only a few gamers do. Draft analysts have been spoiled with Pitts, however the 2022 NFL Draft calls for recalibration. It’s unfair to evaluate incoming tight ends towards Pitts. However towards the standard tight finish mould, how does Ferguson’s NFL Draft scouting report stack up?

Jake Ferguson’s athletic profile

Ferguson has intriguing athletic traits that have been seen even in highschool. He recorded a 4.73 40-yard sprint and a close to 35-inch vertical earlier than his body was totally developed, and that athleticism was on full show in 2020. Ferguson has stable straight-line explosiveness off the road of scrimmage, and his lengthy strides assist him acquire pace rapidly. He additionally possesses sufficient lengthy pace to problem linebackers in intermediate and deep zones, together with some lateral finesse when operating after the catch.

Past his pace and explosiveness, Ferguson is above-average at altering instructions relative to his body. Moreover, he’s proficient taking part in the ball within the air. The Wisconsin TE has stellar physique management in mid-air and infrequently proactively seeks out the ball together with his arms. Moreover, his vertical athleticism and smoothness enable him to rise and high-point passes in stride.

Execution past the bodily traits

Ferguson has an enough athletic basis, however how does he complement that with execution? Even after three years as a starter, Ferguson continues to be a piece in progress relating to the sport’s finer factors. Regardless of this, the Wisconsin TE has some interesting operational qualities.

As a cross catcher, Ferguson’s arms have their moments. He does have a number of drops on his résumé, however these are sometimes related to inaccurate passes. Usually, and notably within the purple zone and different high-pressure conditions, Ferguson flashes the main target and powerful arms to haul in passes whereas airborne. He additionally fights by way of contact on the catch level and isn’t fazed in contested conditions.

Ferguson isn’t fairly as interesting as a blocker, however he has some redeeming qualities there as effectively. The Wisconsin TE has stable extension, and he can use his explosive burst to shoot into blocks. He can take up energy to an extent together with his compact body and owns respectable torso flexibility.

Amongst different issues, Ferguson has some consciousness relating to defensive blind spots, and fairly a number of of his touchdowns have resulted from him sneaking by way of to the top zone and exploiting open areas.

Areas for enchancment

Ferguson’s greatest performs generate plenty of pleasure, however the Wisconsin TE nonetheless has work to do. Particularly as a blocker, Ferguson is pretty inconsistent. He doesn’t all the time have the mandatory energy to maintain blocks, and he doesn’t generate a lot motion towards bigger defenders. Ferguson will get knocked off steadiness simply as a consequence of his comparatively mild body and might generally take defective angles.

As a receiver, Ferguson reveals room for enchancment. He performs with a excessive pad stage and doesn’t all the time show torso and hip flexibility. His route operating isn’t exceptionally sharp or detailed; lots of his assignments contain easy flat routes or advances into the seam. Ferguson can enhance his route operating, however his traits aren’t particularly conducive to pure separation, both.

Ferguson isn’t an awesome run-after-catch risk, and his ft might be heavy in open house. He’s not a really sudden or twitchy participant and largely lacks elite athletic traits. Lastly, total consistency is a query for Ferguson. For instance, 3 of his 4 touchdowns in 2020 got here in a single sport. That stated, it’s price noting {that a} second season with Graham Mertz at QB could lead to statistical enchancment.

Jake Ferguson’s NFL Draft scouting report overview

Together with his measurement and straight-line explosiveness, Ferguson has a robust bodily basis as a decent finish. He’s not an elite athlete — however he is an effective one — and his means to realize pace rapidly actually reveals up on movie. That means, mixed together with his measurement, makes him a particular risk as a seam-buster on the NFL stage. Furthermore, he generally is a formidable red-zone risk together with his physique management and toughness in contested conditions.

His utility past seam and red-zone roles, nevertheless, stays below query. Ferguson isn’t a really constant blocker, and he’s not a well-developed route runner. Apart from in-breaking routes, his route tree’s variance is minimal, and he typically must be schemed open.

As of now, Ferguson generally is a function participant, however he’s not as versatile or well-rounded as NFL groups could want. If the Wisconsin TE doesn’t progress additional in 2021, that will relegate him to the center rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft .

Jake Ferguson’s Participant Profile

Typically soccer is a household enterprise. In actual fact, Ferguson’s older brother, Joe Ferguson, performed security for the Wisconsin Badgers from 2013 to 2017. Jake, in the meantime, got here on in 2017 and redshirted whereas his brother began 5 video games. Even because the youthful Ferguson waited, it was clear that he was simply as — if no more — gifted than his elder sibling.

As a highschool senior, Jake was already 4 full inches taller than his brother, and he measured in at a hefty 209 kilos. Alongside together with his measurement, Jake put up spectacular testing numbers, together with a 4.73 40-yard sprint and a 34.4-inch vertical soar. A four-star recruit, Ferguson generated loads of curiosity within the midwest; colleges like Iowa, Iowa State, and Nebraska all submitted presents for his companies.

However, for Ferguson, who got here from Madison Memorial Excessive Faculty like his brother earlier than him, the selection forward was by no means a lot of a alternative in any respect. Wisconsin soccer was a part of the household enterprise. Subsequently, in late March 2016, he formally dedicated to the Badgers.

Ferguson’s profession at Wisconsin

Regardless of his excessive billing as a recruit, Ferguson redshirted his first season at Wisconsin. He’d labored arduous to succeed in 230 kilos earlier than weigh-ins, however there was nonetheless extra acclimation that wanted to happen earlier than Ferguson was prepared for enjoying time on Saturdays. Thus, he sat on the bench all through the season, studying and making ready for the chance that was to return.

In 2018, beginning tight finish Troy Fumagalli entered the NFL Draft, the place he was taken in Spherical 5 by the Denver Broncos. His departure paved the way in which for Ferguson to earn an elevated function on the offensive aspect of the ball.

Ferguson emerged as a key contributor for the Badgers in 2018. The Wisconsin TE put up 36 receptions for 456 yards and 4 touchdowns, incomes a spot because the workforce’s second-highest main receiver. In 2019, he reprised his function and collected 407 yards and a pair of scores on 33 catches. And in 2020, Ferguson once more returned because the No. 1 tight finish, logging 30 catches for 305 yards and 4 scores.

Jake Ferguson’s NFL Draft ascension

On the floor, Ferguson’s manufacturing decreased in 2020. Then once more, he and Wisconsin performed simply half the quantity of video games because the yr prior. Ferguson solely performed in seven contests and nonetheless managed to place up comparable numbers to earlier campaigns. The Wisconsin TE is clearly trending up heading into 2021. And with Mertz returning below middle, that consolation and familiarity will yield excessive expectations.

By now, Ferguson has established himself as a beneficial faculty tight finish. However does Ferguson’s NFL Draft scouting report translate to the following stage? Upon examine, he possesses sufficient measurement and athleticism to earn a task as a receiver, however he’ll must maintain refining his sport if he desires to hold his present goal share within the professionals. He has yet another yr to do it, after which NFL groups will make their evaluations.

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