Defensive end | Louisiana Tech | Senior
Height: 6-foot-5 | Weight: 262 pounds
2018: Started all 13 games for Louisiana Tech and racked up 17.5 sacks on the season, which led the FBS; totaled 64 tackles (37 solo), a team-high 26 tackles for loss (which ranked second in FBS), 4 passes broken up and 2 forced fumbles; was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Conference USA, among other awards
Career: Started 43 of 51 games for the Bulldogs; recorded 187 tackles (111 solo), 45 sacks, 66.5 tackles for loss, 8 forced fumbles and 7 passes broken up; his 45 career sacks broke the all-time NCAA record, previously held by Terrell Suggs (44); was a 3x First-Team All-Conference USA honoree (2016-18)
View photos of Louisiana Tech DE Jaylon Ferguson.
Summary: Ferguson attended West Feliciana High School, where he lettered four years in football and basketball. As a senior, he received All-State honors as well as All-District and All-Metro.
He redshirted as a freshman in 2014 at LA Tech and in 2015 started five of 12 games played. He began to establish his reputation as a dynamic edge rusher then, tying a team-high of 6.0 sacks and also forced two fumbles. Over the next three seasons, Ferguson started all but one game for the Bulldogs.
A Reese’s Senior Bowl participant, Ferguson initially was invited to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis but had the invitation revoked after a background check revealed that the defensive end was convicted of simple battery after an off-field fight in 2015.
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein compared Ferguson to Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport and said the young athlete is an “extremely productive edge defender with an NFL-caliber frame that continues to take shape.”
“Ferguson plays with good toughness at the point of attack and became a much more disruptive run defender as the season progressed. He appears to have average athletic traits but benefits from an instinctive pass-rush approach,” Zierlein said. “He has experience as an edge linebacker, but his length and build increase the likelihood he'll be targeted as an even-front defensive end with potential to become a good NFL starter.”
Click here to read Ferguson’s full profile on NFL.com.
Stacking up: Ferguson was not ranked by The Athletic’s Dane Brugler or NFL Media’s Bucky Brooks in their positional rankings. He was initially tabbed 42nd overall in Daniel Jeremiah’s Top-50 list of draft-eligible athletes but was bumped down to 45 on his updated rankings.
Breaking records: Ferguson broke Suggs’ sack record during the 2018 Hawaii Bowl. He finished the game with 2.5 sacks, his record-breaking takedown occurring in the third quarter for a 2-yard loss by Hawaii quarterback Chevan Cordeiro. The Bulldogs defeated the Rainbow Warriors 31-14, and Ferguson was named MVP of the bowl game.