The Seahawks need another pass rusher. Could Jaylon Ferguson line up across from Frank Clark and create havoc?
Frank Clark was pretty much by himself as an edge rusher for the Seahawks in 2018. Sure, Jarran Reed helped him out. But Reed was an interior lineman who had a great season. Teams could focus on Clark out wide as the other end wasn’t going to be much help. Jaylon Ferguson could fix that issue in Seattle.
Or maybe not. Ferguson was uninvited from the NFL Combine because as NFL.com reported, “…after a background check turned up an off-field issue that made him ineligible under the league’s policy.” Whatever the issue was, it happened in Ferguson’s freshman year. I am not making excuses for another human being who may or may not have had issues in the past, especially ones I am not sure what the issues were, but Clark had reported problems as well before he joined Seattle and since Clark has been a Seahawk he has been a reputable person.
But would Ferguson be a good fit opposite Clark in Seattle as a defensive end? Maybe. He has the same size as Clark did when Clark left college. Although, Clark was extremely – and still is – freakish as far as athletic ability goes. Ferguson does seem to have the same raw talent Clark had, but few people do.
Ferguson produced in college. He was the all-time NCAA sack leader while at Louisiana Tech with 45 sacks. He also had an NCAA-record 67.5 tackles for loss. But does that really mean as much while playing at LA Tech as it would at the University of Washington, for instance? Probably not. The competition is not the same.
The plus for Seattle is that Ferguson’s pro day results at Louisiana Tech were a bit mixed. He was either bad.
For the Seahawks it is a win-win either way. Seattle is going to trade down from the 21st pick. Ferguson should be available even if they trade down to the second round based on the amount of edge rushers available in this draft. And he might be good enough to help Seattle and Clark for the next several years.
Ferguson lacks proven production against top end talent as LA Tech mostly played against relatively mediocre teams. Ferguson may have the talent to produce at a Pro Bowl level against NFL teams, but no one knows that for sure. Raw ability alone doesn’t mean that will translate to being an every day professional defensive end. He may have sacked opposing quarterbacks 45 times in college but that doesn’t mean he will ever get to the opposing QB in the NFL.
Ferguson has raw ability. He has the same size as Frank Clark. But does he have the drive? And does he have the same raw instinct and get off as Clark? Maybe not. Few do. So the Seahawks taking Ferguson in the first round, or if they trade down to the second round, might be a risk. Either way, Ferguson might be a great NFL player, but likely that is discovered with another NFL team other than Seattle.