Drafted Ego Ferguson, undrafted Christian Jones ready for duty
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter May 17, 2014 9:14PM
Updated: June 23, 2014 12:58PM
Clint Hurtt recruited defensive tackle Ego Ferguson to college when he was smaller.
Well, maybe that’s not entirely accurate.
“He’s always been a big guy,” said Hurtt, the Bears’ new assistant defensive line coach. “But he’s got his grown-man muscles now.”
At 6-2, 315 pounds, the Bears’ second-round pick has certainly looked the part through two days of rookie minicamp at Halas Hall.
“He’s big, he’s got good feet,” linebacker Christian Jones said Saturday. “He’s got a lot of potential.
“I wish we could have gotten him at Florida State.”
The two weren’t close growing up in Florida, but Jones said they kept an eye on each other out of pride for their home state.
They have even more in common: Both had to answer questions about their past during the draft process.
After starting for one season at LSU, Ferguson missed the Outback Bowl because of a violation of team rules.
“A lot of teams asked me about it,” he said. “But that was a coach’s decision. That was a decision he made, and I had to run with it.”
Ferguson admitted that it hurt to watch the Tigers play without him.
He said he told NFL teams the truth when asked about it.
“I can’t tell ya,” he said.
Jones, a former FSU star, wasn’t quite as vague about his diluted urine test at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He confirmed it happened, though he didn’t go into detail about why and said he suspected it caused his draft stock to fall.
Jones, a three-year starter for the defending national champion, went from a mid-round projection to undrafted.
Even if he is a good fit with the Bears — he’ll play on the strong side with a chance to take playing time from Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic — the 6-3, 240-pounder called the slide motivating.
“It’s the competitive side,” he said. “You see guys getting drafted above you — everybody thinks they’re better than somebody.
“But that’s how it is. But it’s going to help fuel me, and I believe that things happen for a reason.
“I really feel like I belong here, and I’m just making the best out of this opportunity.”
So will Ferguson — though, as a second-rounder, he’s certain to make the team.
“He’s got some juice,” defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. “[Ferguson] can explode and close in a short area, and he’s shown he’s got some pass-rush ability as well.
“There’s tremendous upside. I think with good coaching, determination and grit and persistence on his part, I think he can reach his full potential here.”