The Wisconsin football team has had some success putting tight ends into the NFL over the past couple of decades. Travis Beckham, Owen Daniels, Garrett Graham, Lance Kendricks, and Troy Fumagalli are the latest Badgers to be drafted into the NFL. Next up is Jake Ferguson.
Yes, Barry’s grandson.
Jake Ferguson just finished his senior season at Wisconsin where he was Graham Mertz’s favorite target for the past two seasons. Over his career at Wisconsin, Ferguson had 145 receptions, including a career-high 46 this past season. His 145 receptions put him at 6th all-time in Wisconsin football history.
He had 1,618 receiving yards,16th all-time, and just nine yards behind Troy Fumagalli. Ferguson caught 13 touchdown passes, tying him with Quintez Cephus for the 13th-most all-time in Wisconsin history.
So you could say Jake Ferguson enjoyed a great career at Wisconsin. But despite the success, he hasn’t been getting a ton of hype heading into the upcoming NFL Draft. To be fair, this draft class is loaded with talent. In fact, a lot of the draft pundits think tight end is the deepest position of the class.
Luckily for Ferguson, he will have a chance to show what he can do for NFL scouts and GMs at the upcoming Senior Bowl. The Senior Bowl has been a great way for some of the more undervalued prospects to get their name out there and some recognition before the NFL Combine, which takes place in early March.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter listed 10 prospects he expects will boost their draft stock at the Senior Bowl and Jake Ferguson is on the list. From Reuter:
"Ferguson is being overlooked by a lot of folks right now, but I don’t think that will last past the proceedings in Mobile. He might not run a 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but neither did guys like Zach Ertz (4.76) or T.J. Hockenson (4.70). Ferguson will catch everything in sight during practices, look smooth in his routes and show tenacity as a blocker. When he wins over linebackers and safeties down the seam and in the red zone, people will start putting top-100 grades next to his name."
I don’t think it’s a lie to say the Wisconsin offense could have been better this year. Yes, Ferguson was one of the main receiving targets on the team, but I think we can all agree he could have put up some bigger numbers this year if the offense was more efficient. Ferguson is a big-bodied tight end who should have been targeted a lot more than he was in the red zone. Having just three touchdowns this season seems like a crime.
I think that’s a big reason he is being overlooked right now for the draft. Like Reuter says, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Ferguson puts his skills on display during the Senior Bowl and ends up being a higher pick than he is currently projected.