It’s not often that you come across a defensive end with 17.5 sacks in a single season that’s still considered a second round pick. The New York Giants could pass on a pass rusher for that reason alone at No. 6, looking no further than Louisiana star, Jaylon Ferguson.
In 2018, the stud defender totaled 64 tackles with 26 for a loss, 17.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and four passes defended. Ferguson is one of those massive ceiling and middling floor players. After a successful Senior Bowl, he was disallowed from attending the NFL Combine after charges were filed against him for simple battery over a fight in his freshman year three years ago.
While the aggressiveness might spurn some coaches, I don’t believe it will impact his draft stock drastically.
The New York Giants would be taking a calculated risk:
After the 2017 season most assumed that Ferguson would commit to the NFL Draft, but he eventually elected to stay with the Bulldogs, and what a move it ended up being. He became the FBS record-holder with 45 career sacks and made a significant impact on his team. He ended his collegiate career with third-team All-American senior campaign honors and ranked in the top five with 26 tackles for a loss.
One of the exciting factors that make Ferguson an intriguing prospect is that his potential is sky high. He has room to grow physically, but if he can match his physique with his technique, his development could take him to another level of talent.
At 6’5″, 271 pounds, the pass rusher has prototypical size for the NFL. Having a diversified skill-set is something that professional scouts look for when evaluating players – Ferguson has that factor in his toolbox. While he was clearly a great rusher, run stopping was also an impressive skill he further developed in 2018.
Seeing incremental growth over the course of single/multiple seasons is something that’s desired at the next level. Ferguson evolved as 2018 progressed, meaning he has plenty of room to expand his abilities and begin learning new techniques.
Despite all of these positives, some analysts have mentioned a lack of effort at times early on in the season. I don’t believe this will be an issue at the NFL level, especially with the Giants who are building a locker room that holds everybody accountable. Ferguson would be a stellar addition to the defense, and grabbing him in the second round would be an absolute steal.