Heading into his third training camp, Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson wasn’t considered a long shot to make the team, but the former third-round pick was far from a lock to make the final 53-man roster. After the signing of veteran Justin Houston, it was widely believed that he was firmly on the roster bubble.
Ferguson must have had those potential eventualities in mind because he had the best camp of his young career. He impressed in practice and then was able to translate his success to the preseason. One area of his game where he imposed his will with authority was setting the edge against the run.
“He’s gotten so much better in every facet, but the thing you love about him, that you can take to the bank, is he’s going to set a dominant edge. Any time there’s run at him, he’s knocking that back,” Outside Linebackers Coach Drew Wilkins said.
Ferguson responded to adversity throughout training camp and put on quite the show during joint practices with the Carolina Panthers prior to their matchup in Week Two of the preseason.
“[When] you get to this Year Three, a guy like Jaylon, that’s sink or swim, and when we went down to Carolina, he looked like Michael Phelps,” said Wilkins. “He was swimming all over the place. So that was exciting to see. He’s taken that next step.”
The 25-year-old edge defender has underwhelmed thus far in his career. Ferguson has recorded just 4.5 sacks over his first two seasons despite having the pedigree and physical tools to be a difference-maker on defense. It appears the lights are finally starting to come on for the player who was nicknamed ‘Sack Daddy’ in college.
“He’s always been a great, physical player, but he’s taken it to another level,” Wilkins said.