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2018 NFL Draft Profile: Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis

Memphis produces another quarterback that will be drafted.

NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-Iowa State vs Memphis Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Riley Ferguson, Quarterback, Memphis Tigers

NCAA Football: American Athletic Conference Championship-Memphis at Central Florida
Riley Ferguson
Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

HEIGHT: 6’4”

WEIGHT: 210 pounds

40 YD DASH: 4.98 seconds

VERTICAL JUMP: 29.0”

BROAD JUMP: 110”

3 CONE DRILL: 6.96 seconds

20 YD SHUTTLE: 4.4 seconds

2017 STATS: 299-474 (63.1%), 4,257 yards, 38 TD - 9 INT


ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS: Ferguson had the unenviable task of taking over for Memphis great and current Denver Bronco, Paxton Lynch. Reproducing Lynch’s stats wasn’t going to be easy, but Ferguson never held himself to those standards. The result was another great quarterback for the Tigers the last two years, and it has given him an opportunity to be drafted. There’s a lot to like about him.

He’s got the arm strength to make any throw, and consistently showed that both in the pocket and on the run. He looks comfortable in his drops and rollouts, and makes sure to square his shoulders when he’s rolling out either direction. In any scenario, Ferguson consistently scans all three levels to find the best target downfield when given a chance to read a defense. He’s not afraid to take a risk and fit a ball into a tight window, and is confident in every throw he makes. Memphis was blessed with another quarterback that could make throws over linebackers and right in front of safeties.

WEAKNESSES: There are times when he lets his eyes lead defenders into the passing lanes, which results in tipped passes and turnovers. The first game against UCF showed that, and it led to the final interception against the Knights in the AAC Championship Game as well. His decision making at times could be better, and it seems that sometimes he tries to force a pass in or make a decision before he should.

If he’s going to miss a receiver, he tends to miss high, which could lead to turnovers as well. Some are concerned with his skinny frame, as it could lead to injuries.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Riley Ferguson has a lot of traits that coaches will like, and they should be able to fix the things they don’t. If he can trust his progressions and be a smart decision maker, he has the fundamentals to be a good quarterback in the NFL.

Adding weight to his frame will be beneficial when taking hits in the pocket, which he did a lot in his two years at Memphis. His route to the NFL has been unconventional, but that hasn’t affected his game. Ferguson has the confidence and fundamentals to become a great player, and some team is going to get a steal on Day 3.