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NFL Draft 2016: Illinois RB Josh Ferguson signs free agent deal with Indianapolis Colts

Ferguson could be a dynamic third-down back at the next level.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois running back Josh Ferguson wasn't selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he still managed to find a home with the Indianapolis Colts. Once the festivities wrapped up in Chicago, the two sides evidently worked very quickly to get an agreement hammered out. The exact details of the contract are unknown at this time.

As an upperclassman, Ferguson was one of the most exciting and underrated players in the nation. He possesses tremendously quick feet, which allow him to easily evade tacklers at all levels of the defense. Ferguson is also a dangerous weapon in the passing game, where he's often a huge mismatch against linebackers in coverage. Overall, Ferguson's versatility and playmaking ability make him an ideal candidate to become a third-down back a the next level.

Year G Att. YDS Avg. TD Rec. YDS Avg. TD
2011 3 14 52 3.7 0 2 14 7.0 0
2012 10 75 312 4.2 0 29 251 8.7 0
2013 (SO) 12 141 779 5.5 7 50 535 10.7 4
2014 (JR) 13 146 735 5.0 8 50 427 8.5 2
2015 (SR) 9 129 708 5.5 3 37 280 7.6 2

Ferguson has been on the NFL radar for a few years now, but his stock did experience a bit of a rise after his career at Illinois concluded. Most projections had the 5-foot-9, 198-pound prospect as a Round 5-6 selection, so the Colts are getting a great value here.

Highlights

NFL Comparison & Summary (Via NFL.com)

Comparison: Ronnie Hillman

Small and lean waterbug of a running back. Ferguson's ability to change direction instantaneously and create explosive yardage as a runner or pass catcher could make him a dangerous weapon in the hands of the right NFL team. Ferguson has the hands and route running potential to be considered as a slot receiver option to go along with being a change of pace back. Ferguson won't rack up a high number of touches in the pros, but he has the playmaking ability to make a game-changing play here or there.