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2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State University

2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State University
Davis Mattek March 5, 2019 1:36PM EDT

Jazz Ferguson 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profile Scouting Report

When Jazz Ferguson tore up the 2019 NFL Scouting combine the collective response was… “Who?” Ferguson was not on many draft boards before his performance at the combine. According to Nola.com, “Jazz Ferguson was a 4-star commit from St. Francisville who transferred from LSU after his sophomore season, sat out 2017 due to transfer rules and went on to break Northwestern State records in 2018.” He played in only nine total games for LSU and recorded just two receptions for 17 yards.

Players like Ferguson are often my favorites for NFL Draft and dynasty fantasy football purposes. They have little to no stock or excitement before the NFL Combine and then begin a meteoric rise based on their athletic testing. In Rotoviz’s Freak Score, Ferguson scored second-highest in the class with an 82. His score in this metric is actually better than Miles Boykin, another prospect who put him himself on the map with his combine performance alone.

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Jazz Ferguson ran a 4.45 40-yard dash while standing 6’5″ and weighing in at 227 pounds. That gave him a weight-adjusted speed score of 122.1 which is 98th percentile for wide receivers. He also recorded a vertical leap of 37 inches which when combined with his massive frame gives him a catch radius of 10.15 which is 75th percentile. He isn’t quite D.K Metcalf but he is physically imposing enough to be worth drafting off of physical talent alone.

The knock on Ferguson will be of course that he racked up his 66 catches, 1,117 yards and 13 touchdowns as a Northwestern State Demon, which is an FCS school. It is worth noting that in his game against an SEC school, he had 4 receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown. Ferguson was forced to transfer to Northwestern State due to a rules violation at LSU and it would not be the first time that a hyper-athletic wide receiver dominated at a small school and became an NFL star. More than almost any other position, it seems that small school wide receivers are able to translate to the next level in a meaningful way. Miles Austin, Marques Colston, and countless others played at small schools and translated to the NFL.

Ferguson’s film looks almost exactly like you would expect. He was bigger, faster and stronger than every single defensive back that he played against. He made acrobatic, one-handed catches against the sideline. He made himself uncoverable in the endzone. It would be disconcerting if these things WEREN’T prevalent on his college tape. When evaluating small school wide receivers, they really need to show true domination over their opponents to be considered for the NFL and Ferguson did. Ferguson caught 13 of his teams 32 touchdown passes and 1,117 of their 3,530 passing yards for a Dominator Rating of 36% and he looks every bit of it.

Jazz Ferguson Final Verdict

Unlike Hakeem Butler or Miles Boykin, I do not believe that Ferguson’s draft stock is going to go through the moon. In general, small school wide receivers do not get a ton of benefit of the doubt. Ferguson would be a really intriguing pick on Day Three of the NFL draft for most teams but he would mostly be a stash prospect for them as he doesn’t seem quite ready for the NFL from day one. The same could be said for our dynasty fantasy football teams. In the 3rd or 4th round of a dynasty fantasy football rookie draft, I would prefer someone with the physical upside of Ferguson to a career backup running back or replacement level QB but don’t feel the need to crazy for him unless he goes higher than expected in the NFL draft.

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