It was years away, then months, weeks and days, and now, it’s just hours before Bahamian offensive linesman Chris Ferguson will find out if he will be drafted in the 2020 National Football League (NFL) Draft. The draft gets underway tonight and wraps up on Saturday.
The seven-round, 254-player draft will be held virtually with team representatives making their selections and league Commissioner Roger Goodell announcing those selections from the comfort of their respective homes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first round gets underway at 8 o’clock tonight and will be televised on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC. The second and third rounds will be held tomorrow night, starting at 7 o’clock, and the remaining rounds will be held on Saturday, beginning at noon.
“So much is going through my head,” Ferguson said. “I feel good and confident in the style of play I have produced and the season that I had. The player that I am and the athleticism that I have, I can compete anywhere that I go. We will just take it as it comes.”
This is a big moment for the big man. He joked that he is so excited and nervous, that his fingernails are gone and he hardly slept the past two days.
Football pundits have taken their predictions for the draft up a notch in the past couple days. Ferguson said he has tuned them out for the most part.
“I do not really follow up expert takes on the draft, and the persons talking on television, because nine of the 10 times, they haven’t played football. At the same time, one pick in the draft can change the whole scheme of the whole draft, so it can go a million different ways, so there is no way to predict it,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson said there have been 15 to 20 teams that have shown interest in him, but five or six of those teams have been following his progress.
For him, he said, being drafted will be huge, especially coming from The Bahamas.
“Being a kid, growing up in The Bahamas and turning on the television to see football players, is how I grew up,” he said. “There isn’t much football players in The Bahamas, so you can’t play football in high school and go off. Doing this and being able to make my dream come true and make it to the NFL is a goal of mine. I just hope I can help other kids back home in The Bahamas, help fulfill their dreams of playing in the NFL.”
The former University of Cincinnati Bearcats player has been working on his strength and speed since playing in his last collegiate game. In addition, he has been doing yoga and a lot of exercises, trying to staying sharp. He is in Orlando, Florida, and during the lockdown, he said he has been able to work on skills that he forgot he had. Ferguson said the lockdown has also helped him to remain focused on the task at hand.
He stays in contact with his family during the pandemic, ensuring that they are doing well. Ferguson has had a long journey to get to this point and has had his family, friends, coaches and teammates as his support system over the years. As for which round he predicts he will be selected in, Ferguson said: “I’m just leaving it in God’s hands.”
It could be just hours before the 6’5”, 315-pound offensive lineman realizes his dream.