TE Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Plantation, FL (American Heritage)
247 RATING: .8893
POSITION RANK: 16
Receiving: 35 catches, 461 yards (13.2 ypc), 5 touchdowns
Receiving: 25 catches, 243 yards (9.7 ypc), 4 touchdowns
Jake Ferguson Breakdown
Wisconsin’s produced a number of quality college football tight ends in its history. With the style of offense they’ve run, tight ends are a vital part of the offense’s success, and they’re lucky to have another good on in Jake Ferguson. He came to the Badgers extremely raw, but he had the frame that the coaching staff loved, and he’s worked on improving his game in his first two seasons in Madison.
A natural pass catcher, Ferguson’s hands are reliable (as evident by his 69 career catches). He doesn’t fight the football when it’s thrown to him, and he wastes little time going from catching the ball to turning up field. Ferguson’s not the fastest player, but he’s subtly quick and can make a move or two to pick up extra yardage. He’s also quick at the line of scrimmage, usually because he can swim over a jam to get going on his route. He just needs to find a way to speed up his routes. That lack of speed hurts him when he’s trying to create separation in his routes, so many times he’s forced to use his size to shield his defender from the ball.
One concern with Ferguson’s game coming into his freshman season was his ability to block. While he’s improved immensely as a blocker, there’s still a ways to go. Second and third level defenders don’t seem to give him much trouble, as he’s able to control them once he gets into their space. Once his hands are on them, it makes one less defender for the running back to avoid. He’ll need to find a way to replicate that success against defensive lineman and more powerful linebackers too.
Wisconsin’s not changing its ways, an why would they when they can continue to bring talented tight ends like Ferguson to campus? The junior tight end’s already proved to be a reliable option as a blocker and pass catcher, and there’s a lot of potential for Ferguson at the next level if he can elevate his play.