How Ego Ferguson Fits with the Chicago Bears

Matt EurichAnalyst IMay 9, 2014

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Ego Ferguson #9 of the LSU Tigers sacks Colin Reardon #10 of the Kent State Golden Flashes during a game at Tiger Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Leave it to general manager Phil Emery to keep Chicago Bears fans scratching their heads.

After taking something of a stretch pick in the first round with Kyle Fuller, Emery chose LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson with the team's 51st overall pick.

Ferguson fills a need for the Bears at the defensive tackle position, but many will argue that Notre Dame's Louis Nix III, Missouri's Kony Ealy or Arizona State's Will Sutton would have been better fits.

Ferguson has only one year of starting experience under his belt after serving as the backup to Bennie Logan in 2011 and 2012. Many believe that Ferguson would have benefited from staying at LSU one more season.

During his three-year career, Ferguson played in 38 games and registered 85 tackles, five tackles for loss, one sack, three quarterback pressures and five pass deflections. 

The biggest positive in his game is his versatility. He has shown that he has the ability to anchor down against the run at the nose tackle position and can be disruptive as a pass-rusher at the 3-technique.

He does have only one career sack to his name, but he is viewed as a high-motor player who creates opportunities for the guys around him. Despite his high motor, he is still raw and needs to develop his technique, as his play tends to be a bit too out of control at times. 

John Mullin of CSN Chicago believes that Ferguson will likely start off competing at the nose tackle position.

As Mullin mentioned in his tweet above, Stephen Paea is likely already hearing footsteps, as he has been a bit of a disappointment since being selected in the second round back in 2011.

There is no guarantee that Ferguson claims the job from Paea immediately, but the nose tackle position appears to be the one most up for grabs along the defensive line.

Jeremiah Ratliff and Nate Collins are likely the team's best options at the 3-technique, leaving Ferguson with the opportunity to square off against Paea for the position in training camp later this summer.

Because he is viewed as a bit of a project, Ferguson will likely be working extensively with new defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni this offseason.

Pasqualoni is one of the most well-respected coaches in the game, being most well-known for his tenure as Syracuse's head coach from 1991 to 2004. He has extensive experience coaching the defensive line in the NFL.

According to Ferguson in his teleconference with the media, Pasqualoni wants him to play the 2-technique defensive tackle position. "I feel like I can get after the quarterback," Ferguson said.

Lining Ferguson up as the 2-technique, which is directly over the guard, will allow him to utilize his strength as well as his quickness.

Despite being raw, Ferguson's upside is through the roof. Expectations will probably be low heading into his rookie season because of the veteran presence at the defensive tackle position. But if he can push Stephen Paea in training camp, he could find himself as a surprise starter in Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills


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Matt Eurich is an NFL/Chicago Bears Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow @MattEurich