Bengals Draft: 5 reasons why Jake Ferguson is the best TE option

Glenn Adams
MADISON, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 11: Jake Ferguson #84 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs onto the field before the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. Badgers defeated the Eagles 34-7. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MADISON, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 11: Jake Ferguson #84 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs onto the field before the game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium on September 11, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. Badgers defeated the Eagles 34-7. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Jake Ferguson (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

Underrated pass catcher

Ferguson is not seen as a pass-catching threat compared to some of the other tight ends in this year’s draft. That is a mistake. He does not have a single season like Trey McBride put up this year. However, when it comes to college career receiving stats, Ferguson is right there with everyone else.

His career receptions (145) only trail McBride (164) and Charlie Kolar (168).

Ferguson’s career receiving yards (1,618) are behind only McBride (2,100), Kolar (2,181), and Likely (2,050).

Perhaps more importantly, Ferguson’s career catch rate is 73.7% when targeted. That number is bested only by Cade Otton’s 76.5% and Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert’s 77.8%. Ruckert’s four-year average is buoyed by 100% in 2018 when he had one catch on one target. If you were not to count that, Ruckert’s career catch rate would be 70.49%.

Other notable career catch rate percentages amongst tight ends in this year’s class:

  • Isaiah Likely, 72.82
  • Charlie Kolar, 70.9
  • Trey McBride, 66.26
  • Jelani Woods, 66.09
  • Greg Dulcich, 62.4
  • Grant Calcaterra, 61
  • Daniel Bellinger, 56.01

Ferguson has one of the best catch rate percentages while being of the most targeted tight ends over the past four years. His 199 career targets are behind only McBride (220) and Kolar (260).

Ferguson is the ultimate security blanket for the quarterback. He offers pass protection while being a reliable receiving option. Despite the perception of his receiving skills, Ferguson finds ways to get open, and he makes sure-handed contested catches.

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