clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Wisconsin S Joe Ferguson attending Green Bay Packers rookie orientation as tryout

Another DB gets a shot in rookie camp.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Another Wisconsin Badgers defensive back will be given a chance, as safety Joe Ferguson is at the Green Bay Packers rookie orientation/camp this weekend.

According to the Packers, whose release was tweeted by various media and first announced by WBAY’s Matt Hietpas and WKOW’s Alec Ausmus on late Friday morning, Green Bay designates Ferguson as a “tryout” player.

Ferguson contributed heavily to Wisconsin’s defense last season, tying for the team lead in interceptions (four) on the way to claiming consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten honors. His 99-yard pick-six against Utah State broke a school record for return yardage on a single interception.

Joe Ferguson Measurables

Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40-Yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Yard Shuttle 3-Cone Drill 60-Yard Shuttle
Height Weight Arm Length Hand Size 40-Yard Dash Bench Press Vertical Jump Broad Jump 20-Yard Shuttle 3-Cone Drill 60-Yard Shuttle
6'1 195 pounds N/A N/A 4.63 seconds 5 reps 34.5" 124.5" 1.03 seconds 6.62 seconds 11.46 seconds

Height and weight taken from; all other statistics from Wisconsin’s pro day

During the 2017 season, Ferguson played in all 14 games with five starts. He more than solidly filled in for an injured D’Cota Dixon in keeping Wisconsin’s defense among the best in the nation in multiple categories.

Bucky’s 5th Podcast, Ep. 18: Joe Ferguson and his brother Jake join the show. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, and TuneIn.

The grandson of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, Ferguson trained at The Chamber in Davie, Fla., and told B5Q in April was excited to get back to playing football:

After months of training, the former prep quarterback-turned safety wants to get back on the field to show what he can do.

“I feel that there’s no pressure for me,” said Ferguson, who played in 58 games, second all-time in FBS history behind teammate Leon Jacobs. “This game is just fun, and I just am excited. I can’t wait to figure out who wants to take a chance on me, and I want to go there and show them my best and see what happens.”

Here’s Owen Riese’s scouting report on Ferguson:

Strengths: High football IQ. Willing run defender. Has exhibited great ball skills, intercepting the ball whenever the opportunity presents itself. Is always around the football as a defender. Has room to add size to his frame. Played nearly every special team at Wisconsin.

Weaknesses: Will be average at best athletically in the NFL. Will get exposed athletically by wide receivers. Lacks the deep speed to play man at the next level. Willing, but not always able in run support.

Summary: Joe Ferguson is a former walk-on who made the most of his time in Madison, and by his senior year, was an integral contributor for one of the nation’s top defenses. Ferguson’s experience on special teams will help him assimilate at the next level. Showed the ability to play both safety spots, though he’s likely a strong safety at the next level due to his lack of range playing center field. Ferguson will have a chance to be a versatile player at the next level like he was in college, but his lack of high level athleticism will determine his role.