The San Francisco 49ers will likely keep a close eye on the edge rushers, but they’ll be limited with one of the better options. Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson will be allowed to conduct limited interviews and go through the medical evaluation, but he will not be allowed to take part in drills or testing.
The NFL instituted a policy that forbid players from the Combine if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony charge that involved violence. Ferguson was found guilty of simple battery during his freshman year after a fight at McDonald’s. The NFL elected to adjust the policy for the three players banned from the proceedings. Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, said the idea was that rather than have 32 teams dealing with Ferguson and others individually outside the Combine, this would allow them to get the pertinent medical information in one place.
I don’t know enough about the details of the fight. His agent offered up some details, and he will get plenty of opportunities to discuss this with teams. He will not test at the Combine, but that will provide some additional value to his Pro Day next month and his visits with interested teams.
Nick Bosa and Josh Allen get the most publicity, but Ferguson is an intriguing prospect. He stands 6’4, 256 pounds and had 17.5 sacks and 26.0 tackles for a loss his final season in college. Pro Football Focus ranks him second in pressures per pass-rush snap, behind Josh Allen and just ahead of Nick Bosa.
Ferguson has shown up at the tail end of mock drafts, with Mel Kiper and Matt Miller sending him to the Los Angeles Rams at No. 31 in their most recent mock drafts. Over at NFL.com, he goes 12, 24, and 31 in three different mock drafts. His draft stock could be one of the more interesting storylines over the next two months.