Ravens: Jaylon Ferguson’s roster spot is in serious jeopardy

The Baltimore Ravens made a major addition to their defense on Saturday when they signed veteran pass rusher Justin Houston. However, the Houston signing could prove troublesome for Jaylon Ferguson.

Ferguson has underwhelmed in his first two seasons in the NFL and already faced an uphill battle to receive playing time in 2021. Now, with Houston aboard, his roster spot might be in jeopardy.

A third-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Ferguson capped off a historical career at Louisiana Tech by breaking former Ravens great Terrell Suggs’ NCAA sack record.

Of course, comparisons were immediately drawn between the two college greats. But Ferguson’s career hasn’t exactly modeled the career of the man whose record he broke.

And he could be on his last legs with the Ravens.

Jaylon Ferguson’s roster spot with the Ravens is in jeopardy.

The Ravens lost both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue this offseason leaving a sizable hole in the team’s defense. They attempted to fill that hole by drafting Odafe Oweh in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and followed that up by selecting Daelin Hayes in the fifth round.

Oweh and Hayes joined the likes of Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee, and Ferguson in an unproven outside linebacker corps. Ferguson was already arguably the least likely of those players to receive playing time.

It’s not necessarily because he’s played poorly this summer either. In fact, Ferguson reportedly showed up to camp in excellent shape.

But the Houston addition combined with the play of those around him could force Baltimore’s hand.

Bowser and McPhee’s roles in the defense are pretty solidified. The same could be said for Houston now. Oweh has flashed his athleticism and, while he remains a work in progress, should see plenty of snaps as a rookie.

Even Hayes has impressed this offseason and could work his way into the rotation. Ferguson’s biggest advantage was that he was the lone true “pass rush specialist” on the roster.

But now the Ravens have Justin Houston. There is no obvious role for Ferguson.

The Ravens could opt to carry six outside linebackers, which they did last year. But that would come at the expense of depth at other positions.

And would it really be worth it to keep Ferguson around given how ineffective he’s been through his first two years? Perhaps there’s still some untapped potential, but time is running out.

Jaylon Ferguson is no lock for the 53-man roster. And the Justin Houston singing certainly didn’t do him any favors.