By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) — With the 51st overall pick in the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears selected defensive tackle Ego Ferguson out of LSU.
At 6-2 7/8, 315 pounds, Ferguson is a big, athletic three-technique, but a very raw prospect. He certainly fits the mold of a classic Phil Emery pick, but he’s going to need time to develop his techniques to better utilize his physical talents.
Interestingly enough, Ferguson told reporters on a conference call that new Bears defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni wants him to play the two-technique, which is head-up over the offensive guard, typically a two-gap technique.
“(Pasqualoni) brought me to the office and were just talking ball for a long time. And he asked me, can I play that 2-technique? Can I do it? He said that’s what he wanted me for and he showed a lot of interest,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson redshirted his freshman season at LSU and came off the bench as a reserve in 2011 and 2012 before becoming a full-time starter in 2013. He started 12 games before his season ended prematurely with an ankle injury. That injury prevented him from working out at the NFL Combine in February.
Some thought he should stay at LSU for his senior year, but a work injury to his mother had a big impact on his decision to leave school early.
“My mom got hurt on the job and she wasn’t able to work and I knew my family needed me,” Ferguson said. “My decision that I made was a family decision basically.”
Ferguson’s mother works at a juvenile detention center and hurt her back trying to break up a fight, Ferguson said. She is now rehabbing and getting better.
As for his football abilities, the big defensive tackle is built exactly like you would want him to be for a pass-rushing defensive tackle, but his game film is a little underwhelming. He gets into the backfield in flashes, but was not consistently dominating at LSU. Starting 12 games as a redshirt junior in 2013, Ferguson only accumulated one sack and 3.5 tackles for loss.
Thats said, Ferguson should give a boost to the run defense. He’s a big run stuffer and is versatile enough to play the one-technique, three-technique and, apparently for the Bears, the two-technique as well.
With some good coaching, Ferguson could develop into a disruptive force in the middle of the Bears defense and even contribute in the rotation as a rookie. Pasqualoni has been heavily involved in the evaluation of defensive tackle prospects and Ferguson officially becomes his first project.
Barring a trade, the Bears are also expected to make the 82nd pick overall in the third round later Friday evening.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.