Meet the Prospect Who Broke Terrell Suggs' Sack Record and Could (Try to) Replace Him


The Ravens could be looking for Terrell Suggs' replacement yet again in this year's draft.

Who better than the prospect who broke Suggs' all-time NCAA sacks record?

Jaylon Ferguson finished his college career at Louisiana Tech with 45 sacks, one more than Suggs' record 44, which he set in 2002 at Arizona State. Ferguson broke the record with 2.5 sacks in his final game in the Hawaii Bowl.

This week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., the Ravens have gotten an up-close look at Ferguson, who is one of the top edge defenders in a talent-rich draft class at that position.

Asked for his goals throughout the pre-draft process, Ferguson said he wants to "put a face with the name." He already has a catchy nickname – "Sack Daddy" – like Suggs' "Sizzle." But while Ferguson is a potential first-round prospect, he doesn't come out of college with the same buzz as Suggs, who was the 10th-overall pick in 2003.

"Everybody knows my numbers from Louisiana Tech," Ferguson said. "I just want everyone to know me personally. So, when I walk past you, you go 'Oh, there's Jaylon right there,' not just 'There's that guy from Louisiana Tech.'"

Ferguson registered six sacks as a freshman, 14.5 as a sophomore, seven as a junior and a whopping 17.5 in his senior year. However, he did it all while playing in Conference USA, which isn't the top powerhouse competition.

Ferguson must show that he can take that kind of success to the next level, starting at the Senior Bowl. Marcus Davenport, who played at the University of Texas-San Antonio, was in the same conference and went No. 14 overall to the New Orleans Saints last year, so it can certainly be done.

Ferguson has the size at 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, which is a bit taller and a little lighter than Suggs. Ferguson also wins with excellent speed and burst off the edge.

But Ferguson says his advantage in comparison to some of the other top edge rushers at the Senior Bowl, such as Mississippi State's Montez Sweat, Old Dominion's Oshane Ximines and Boston College's Zach Allen, is his strong hands.

"I have very good hands – violent and aggressive hands," Ferguson said. "I'm tall, so I like to use my long arm or go straight from speed to power. I come out 100 mph. If you ain't prepared for me, you're in trouble."

Of course, Ferguson has a long way to go to match Suggs' understanding of the game, versatility, run-stopping prowess and many other facets of his game. Ferguson mostly played as a down lineman, and said he prefers playing defensive end in a 4-3 front to a stand-up outside linebacker.

But that can be taught, and the Ravens have always been a team that values college production when it comes to pass rushers. Baltimore found great success with Matthew Judon in the fifth round in 2016 after he led the nation in sacks (21) his final college season at Grand Valley State.

Suggs is 36 years old and a pending free agent. Baltimore could bring him back on a short-term deal, but may look for younger, cheaper alternatives.

While Ferguson, of course, respects Suggs and his record, the college prospect said the NFL player he looks up to is Chicago Bears defensive end Khalil Mack. And Ferguson grew up wanting to play like another former Raven.

"When I was a little kid, we didn't really pass rush," Ferguson said. "We just ran around tackling each other. I just like the big hit. I want to Ray Lewis somebody."

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