UPDATE - Jaylon Ferguson & Modified Combine Invitations

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

After they initially rescinded the combine invitations of several high-profile prospects, the NFL and combine oficials essentially reversed course on that decision and offered a modified invitation to Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson, Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons and Colorado State’s Preston Williams. The modified invitation includes participation in medical exams as well as team interviews.

Many people I spoke with felt the decision to take back Ferguson’s invitation this week set the wheels in motion to change course. But what exactly was the reasoning to rescind his invitation in the first place?

There have been many stories on what exactly took place with Ferguson, and after a few days of digging, here’s the story as told to me:

Ferguson was involved in an altercation that resulted in his arrest in July 2014, prior to the start of his freshman year at Louisiana Tech.

During his court hearing, the judge on the case refused to accept Ferguson’s plea and instead entered what’s known as an Article 894 in Louisiana, which is a suspension and deferral of sentence.

The judge then ordered Ferguson to complete a variety of tasks in order to have the charges dropped; included was 10 days of public service as well as satisfactory grades at Louisiana Tech.

In layman’s terms, Ferguson was handed probation before entering a plea and completed everything required of him by the judge. 

The charges were dropped, and as a result, Ferguson has no criminal record.

The league’s 32 teams were notified about this incident before the Senior Bowl, and I’m told Ferguson was asked about it during interviews by the teams in Mobile.

There is a belief that eventually, besides being able to undergo medical exams and interviews at the Combine, Ferguson will have his invitation completely restored and be able to work out.

The defensive end, who we grade as a first-round prospect, has three official visits on his calendar to date. Another nine teams have inquired on bringing him to their facilities before the draft.

Chris Tripodi and I first discussed this issue hours after it was reported during this week’s episode of The Draft Analysts podcast, which you can listen to here.