2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Jaylon Ferguson
School: Louisiana Tech
Weight: 262 pounds
Round Projection: Third
During his career in Ruston, Ferguson expanded his repertoire with each passing year. Primarily starting as a rusher favorite the wide route, Ferguson began evolving. More importantly, this coincided with adding strength. As a result, his bull rush became a functional move. With a stronger core and quads, Ferguson won the leverage battle by lower body explosion. Moreover, his swim began to see the light of day. Yet, despite the added size, Ferguson will still bend the corner to beat the lurching tackle. However, to become the total rusher, a better rip and swim would enhance his game further.
While usually concerned with winning during passing downs, Ferguson turned into a stout defender against the run. Sixty-five TFL show a player that can flow down the line, or string out the perimeter play. Not to mention, beating the tackle with a quick inside step to clog the hole and make the play. Ferguson should see the field for all three downs.
While he does not blur by tackles, what Ferguson do accomplish is a quick jab step that sends his momentum forward. Additionally, in a short area, Ferguson closes on the ball with burst. His relentless nature augments his ability to draw a bead on the ballcarrier
Whether versus the run or pass, Ferguson brings a power aspect to the table. While not gamebreaking, he can stand up a blocker, disengage with violence to make the play. In addition, when he corrals the target, they do not break tackles. Ferguson makes the stop.
When rushing, Ferguson will bring his outside hand as a swat to jar the ball loose. If the position does not appear favorable, he will use power and leverage to stop the play. Unlike many edge rushers, he will not use gravity or hanging on a waist.
With the Raiders presumably selecting in the top ten, some feel that there may not be a need for a second rusher draft pick. However, has Arden Key sold you on his skillset as a run stopper? On the other hand, Ferguson can tackle. With that said, Key could slide into a situational pass rusher. While Key has better quickness, Ferguson does own better production, and tangible talents. If you combine the two, the Raiders could conceivably rotate the two. By any measure, a defense cannot have too many pass rushers.