The Wisconsin football team didn’t have a lot of players taken early in this year’s NFL Draft. A big reason for that was because some players, like linebacker Jack Sanborn, who could have entered the draft early decided to stay in Madison for another year. Another player that probably could have gotten drafted but opted to remain at Wisconsin was tight end, Jake Ferguson.
Yes, Barry Alvarez’s grandson.
Ferguson has been the Badgers’ number one tight end for the past couple of years. He has been a big threat in the passing game for quarterbacks Alex Hornibrook, Jack Coan, and Graham Mertz during his time in Madison.
Last season, he played in just seven games but was on pace to have his best season yet. I think he and Graham Mertz are going to do some damage in the upcoming season for the Wisconsin football team.
Apparently, ProFootball Focus thinks the same thing. Anthony Treash from PFF wrote an article ranking the top 10 returning tight ends in college football. Ferguson was number 10 on the list.
From the article:
"While Ferguson never did take that step forward to elite status after putting up an 81.4 receiving grade as a redshirt freshman in 2018, he has been a steadily solid tight end throughout his time at Wisconsin."
Something else Treash talks about was how last season Ferguson lined up more as an in-line tight end, rather than in the slot. I would imagine that has something to do with the emergence of Chimere Dike last season. With Davis, Pryor, and Dike lined up on the outside, that allowed Ferguson to go back inside.
I would still like to see Ferguson lined up in the slot more than he was last year, however. He is a tough matchup for a nickel corner. I would imagine we’ll see more of that in the red zone where he does a good amount of damage, including a three-touchdown game in Wisconsin’s opening-night game against Illinois.
With Mertz being under center for a second and hopefully more normal year, I would expect Ferguson’s production to increase, and maybe even be a contender for the John Mackey Award, which goes to the top tight end in the country.