Ravens coaches ‘excited about’ Jaylon Ferguson in OTAs

Ravens, Jaylon Ferguson (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Ravens, Jaylon Ferguson (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson enters a make-or-break season in 2021. Following two disappointing campaigns, Ferguson will need to prove his worth in his third NFL season.

Fortunately, he’s already drawing praise from his coaching staff after showing up in “great shape.”

When speaking to the media on Wednesday, outside linebackers coach Drew Wilkins expressed his excitement for Ferguson, both from an on and off-field standpoint.

Ferguson has shown up to OTAs in excellent shape and seems to be processing plays quicker. Wilkins also highlighted the grasp that he has on the playbook.

"“The thing I’m most excited about with Jaylon [Ferguson] is how he’s in such great shape right now, and he really has a grasp of the playbook that he hasn’t had the last two years. It’s just every year, he’s getting sharper and sharper with it, to the point now where he really is telling the young guys what to do, which is exciting to see – a guy take that leap to that point. And he’s running to the football, he’s playing with great effort. He’s really checking all the boxes right now for us.”"

The Ravens have high hopes for Jaylon Ferguson in 2021

Ferguson shined at Louisiana Tech breaking numerous records including the FBS record for sacks previously held by Ravens legend Terrell Suggs.

Needless to say, hopes were high for the former collegiate star when the Ravens drafted him in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations through two years in the NFL.

Ferguson has amassed just 4.5 sacks in 28 career games and even found himself a healthy scratch on numerous occasions late in the year.

Nothing is guaranteed for Ferguson anymore, but he’ll be given a golden opportunity to re-enter the outside linebacker rotation this season with a new-look pass-rush corps.

The Ravens saw both Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue depart in the offseason leaving room for new players to step up.

One of those players could be first-round pick Odafe Oweh who should be Ferguson’s primary competition for playing time.

There’s also the returning Tyus Bowser and Pernell McPhee as well as fifth-round rookie Daelin Hayes. The Ravens have options, although they’ll be looking for their young players to step up and carve out a role.

As for Ferguson, this could be his last chance to show the Ravens that he deserves a spot on the roster and in the defensive rotation moving forward.

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The coaching staff is pleased with his progress. Now, he needs to show results on the field.