Breaking down the top tight ends for the 2022 NFL Draft

Breaking down the top tight ends for the 2022 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Profile: Jake Ferguson, Tight End, Wisconsin Badgers

NFL draft profile scouting report for Wisconsin tight end, Jake Ferguson
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#84
Pos: TE
Ht: 6050
Wt: 244
DOB: 1/18/99
Eligible: 2022
Madison, WI
Memorial High School

Jake Ferguson
Wisconsin Badgers


Pros:

Pun: Jake Ferguson is an experienced and competitive tight end prospect who can align in-line and as an H-back. Ferguson excels as a run blocker, whether it is zone or gap/power, the offense can trust in him to rarely lose a rep due to his technique and elite competitive toughness. He’s best as an in-line blocker, positioning himself well with a wide stance and low pad level while squaring up to his target. He regularly shoots his hands into the defender's chest and has the grip strength to sustain his block as he drives his legs to consistently create displacement. Ferguson has proven he can block defensive ends, linebackers and defensive backs one-on-one and is even effective blocking for screens while in space due to solid foot speed and the quick processing skills to locate his target. Ferguson is also dependable when asked to pass protect as he uses his hands very well at the point-of-attack and can push linebackers and defensive backs away from the pocket. Ferguson also adds value in the passing game by finding holes versus zone coverages and in the red zone, where his catch radius is very beneficial for quarterbacks. He possesses sticky and reliable hands as he can make catches above his head and below his knees. Furthermore, Ferguson’s competitiveness is also on display during contested-catch scenarios as he never gives up on a play and ensures he wins the battle at the catch point, despite a defender breathing down his neck.

Cons:

Pun: Ferguson provides immense dependability but lacks the athletic traits to warrant a high ceiling. He has a narrow frame which could lead to question marks about how he holds up one-on-one versus NFL-sized defensive ends. In addition, Ferguson’s average athleticism and lack of route salesmanship hurts his ability to separate vs man coverage and he lacks the agility and change of direction to win at the break or after the catch. Furthermore, Wisconsin limited his role as a receiver and asked him to run a sparse route tree, primarily curls and outs. He’s not going to stress the defense up the seam or excel when aligned in the slot.

Summary:

Pun: The redshirt senior provides NFL teams with a fairly day one ready skillset with his blocking prowess. Ferguson will likely have a solid career in the NFL due to his overall competitiveness and reliability as a blocker and with his strong hands. He can be a strong rotational piece who plays primarily on run downs and if he adds more nuance to his routes, can become an average starter.

Background:

Jake Ferguson was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and football runs in his bloodline. Jake’s father, Brad Ferguson, played football for Nebraska, Jake’s grandfather, Barry Alvarez, was UW Director of Athletics and football head coach and finally Jake’s brother, Joe, played safety for Wisconsin from 2013-2017. Jake attended James Madison Memorial High School where he finished his career with 1,795 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns. Ferguson also played on defense, where he tallied 314 total tackles, 29 TFLs, 5 sacks, 5 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles. Ferguson was a three-year team captain and also lettered in baseball and was an impressive basketball player. He helped lead Memorial to Division 1 state semifinal as a senior, earning third-team All-Big Eight Conference honors and honorable mention all-conference honors in basketball as a junior. After high school, 247Sports ranked him as a 3-Star recruit, the 354th-best recruit nationally, the 13th-ranked tight end in the country and the 2nd recruit in the state of Wisconsin. After committing to Wisconsin, Ferguson redshirted his 2017 freshman year. In 2018, he earned first letter, playing 13 games as a tight end, starting two and finishing with 36 receptions for 456 yards and four touchdowns. In 2019, he earned his second letter and started all 14 games, tallying 33 passes for 407 yards and two touchdowns. Ferguson was an All-Big Ten honorable mention. In 2020, he earned his third letter, starting all seven games and adding 30 receptions for 310 yards and four touchdowns. For his efforts, Ferguson was named a John Mackey Award semifinalist and to the All-Big Ten first team by the media. As a redshirt senior, Ferguson is praised for his growth and the coaching staff understands how pivotal he is to the program’s success. Wisconsin head coach, Paul Chryst says, “I’ve loved seeing Jake’s progression and maturity. He certainly means a lot to us as a player. You need him to have his best season for us if we want to be any good offensively.”


One-Liners

Pun: Old school, in-line tight end who is an extremely competitive and technically refined blocker with sticky hands but is an average athlete and lacks route salesmanship and route diversity.

Grades

Current Player Value/Potential Player Value

Pun: 7.5 / 8.2


#84
Pos: TE
Ht: 6050
Wt: 244
DOB: 1/18/99
Eligible: 2022
Madison, WI
Memorial High School

Jake Ferguson
Wisconsin Badgers


Pros:

Pun: Jake Ferguson is an experienced and competitive tight end prospect who can align in-line and as an H-back. Ferguson excels as a run blocker, whether it is zone or gap/power, the offense can trust in him to rarely lose a rep due to his technique and elite competitive toughness. He’s best as an in-line blocker, positioning himself well with a wide stance and low pad level while squaring up to his target. He regularly shoots his hands into the defender's chest and has the grip strength to sustain his block as he drives his legs to consistently create displacement. Ferguson has proven he can block defensive ends, linebackers and defensive backs one-on-one and is even effective blocking for screens while in space due to solid foot speed and the quick processing skills to locate his target. Ferguson is also dependable when asked to pass protect as he uses his hands very well at the point-of-attack and can push linebackers and defensive backs away from the pocket. Ferguson also adds value in the passing game by finding holes versus zone coverages and in the red zone, where his catch radius is very beneficial for quarterbacks. He possesses sticky and reliable hands as he can make catches above his head and below his knees. Furthermore, Ferguson’s competitiveness is also on display during contested-catch scenarios as he never gives up on a play and ensures he wins the battle at the catch point, despite a defender breathing down his neck.

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