This Auburn University product has arguably had the best off-season of all the potential NFL draftees. Dee Ford is a dominant end rusher and has amazing physical attributes. An absolute stellar week at the senior bowl helped raise his draft stock.
Ford didn't participate in the NFL combine but still made plenty of headlines with his comments on Jadaveon Clowney, saying he was "better than Clowney," and if "you watch the film, he plays like a blind dog in a meat market, basically." Bottom line, Ford is one of the top pass-rushing defensive ends in this year's draft.
Speed, speed and more speed. Ford has an explosive first step that allows him to get to the edge incredibly fast. “Speed is my favorite move, that way you can open up and do different things with your counters,” says Ford. “Once you beat them with speed you have those tackles off balance the whole game.” When watching the tape it is very apparent that his ultimate weapon is speed, as he uses that to set up a variety of other moves.
Another thing that jumps out is his high-motor; you rarely see him stop before the whistle. During the national championship game he was constantly double teamed, but he didn't give up once and occasionally broke through with counter-speed moves.
Ford also lines up at both defensive end positions and can play from either the 3-point stance or standing upright on the edge.
His size is somewhat of a question mark—not so much his physical stature, but more so his strength. Will he be able to lock on and keep his ground against offensive linemen when trying to play the run?
His coverage skills will be put to the test as he was not asked to do much in coverage during his time at Auburn. The few occasions that he was in coverage didn’t look terrible, but it’s the fact that he isn’t very experienced in it that causes some concern. That is definitely something that can be coached, however, as he has the physical attributes needed to drop into coverage.
Where he could end up:
New Orleans Saints: The Saints have pick no. 27 in the first round and need to add a pass rusher off the edge desperately. Dee Ford brings the high-motor, hard-work ethic to the Saints defense that they could definitely use. Rob Ryan has some pretty good edge rushers and Ford could be the next one in line. The Saints are the team that can be rewarded the most from acquiring Ford. Ryan is all-blitz, all-the-time and finds creative ways to use different pass rushers in many ways.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles reportedly tried to propose a trade to the Miami Dolphins for pass rusher Dion Jordan, according to a report in the Delaware County Daily Times. If this is the case, that means they are looking for an edge rusher with lots of speed and upside. Ford fits that description to the tee.
Where he is expected to go:
The defensive end from Auburn is expected to go anywhere from the middle first to early second round.
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