Drafting Ferguson a Unique Opportunity
When it came down to selecting his first overall selection as head coach, New York Jets coach Eric Mangini went into his past to look at the situation from a familiar angle.
"With my background on defense, one of the things that I appreciate the most is a good left tackle," said Mangini. "When you look at it defensively, you're always trying to find a weakness. For us to get a left tackle with D'Brickashaw's caliber and a person of D'Brickashaw's caliber, it's very exciting."
Aside from his brilliance on the offensive line, D' Brickashaw Ferguson had made a good first impression on Coach Mangini when they met earlier this year. Ferguson's humble, poise and enthusiasm to progress amidst all of the exposure amazed Mangini.
"Here's a guy who was incredibly successful in college and had all the hype that goes along with the draft. Now, he's looking forward to improving as a player and working hard," said Mangini. "He wants to become a great professional player."
First-year GM Mike Tannenbaum recognized the situation as a rare opportunity. After all of the Jets thorough research and analysis of gathered information, the draft board was actually correspondent to their need to fill that specific position.
"We got a great player who starred in a high level of competition at a position that obviously we needed some help at. He's the total package; he's a heck of player at a heck of position, who's a heck of a guy."
Ferguson pulled in to Jets headquarters roughly six hours after the announcement of his official welcome to the professional football world. According to Ferguson, he has no time to waste, as he wants to get on the field, get to work, and elevate his game so he can be able to compete at the NFL level.
"I think it s a matter of really working hard and being a student of the game - starting over in a sense," he explained. "I had a lot of success in college, but this is the NFL. I'm going to learn and pay my dues and hopefully I'll be a great player like I was in college."
The high pick comes with no added pressure to Ferguson, as he explains the position itself has plenty of pressure to go with it.
"Pressure comes with the position because any big sack or big hit that comes is usually blamed on the left tackle," he said. "Regardless of pick, it's the position itself that has a lot of pressure, and that's just part of the job."
While the Jets appeared to have many different options as to which position to address with their first selection, they believe that they chose the best person and player for their team. They did not need to trade up or down in order to get their man.
"After assessing all the possibilities, we were comfortable with where we were with the fourth pick," explained Tannenbaum. "We were really focused on getting good players and good people, and we'll see where other opportunities come along."