Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey loves nothing more than giving player’s a second chance.
That was true in Kansas City, where Dorsey drafted wide receiver Tyreek Hill despite off-field concerns, and again this past week when Dorsey signed running back Kareem Hunt despite Hunt facing a suspension by the NFL for his off-the-field problems.
Knowing Dorsey’s history, it may be time to start putting Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson on the Browns draft board.
Ferguson, college football’s all-time sack leader, was disinvited on Wednesday from the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine because he was convicted of simple battery during his first year at Louisiana Tech after being involved in a fight at a McDonald’s. He also received a public intoxication charge while in college, according to NFL.com:
From me and @TomPelissero: #LaTech pass-rusher Jaylon Ferguson, the NCAA’s all-time sack leader, had his Combine invite rescinded. It stems from a fight at @McDonalds. Our story: https://t.co/mOwXwBryRj— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 13, 2019
That was enough for the NFL to pull Ferguson’s spot at the Scouting Combine and likely triggered Dorsey’s spider sense in the hallways for Berea.
All kidding aside, while the Browns need help at defensive tackle more than defensive end, Ferguson is a player to keep an eye on.
He posted 45 sacks in 50 career games for the Bulldogs, including 17.5 as a redshirt senior in 2018. Ferguson also brings to the table some other traits that the Browns can use, according to The Draft Network:
Ferguson is a low ceiling, high floor edge defender who would operate best from a 3-point stance in the NFL. Ferguson doesn’t have ideal athletic traits, nor will he be a quick winner off the edge in the NFL, but he’s a strong run defender at the point-of-attack and could project to an interior rush role on long/late downs. He shouldn’t be thought of as a coveted prospect, but in the mid-rounds, Ferguson can be a valuable extra rusher and rotational defender for an NFL team.
It is hard right now to pin down just where Ferguson will land in the draft. A few projections have him going in the first round, but several others place him as a secord- or third-round selection.
But given Dorsey’s affinity for players and second chances, Browns fans may want to keep an eye on Ferguson come draft weekend.