Dee Ford Scouting Report

After blowing up the Senior Bowl all week, Dee Ford might have snuck into the 1st round with the dominant performance he displayed. He was unblock-able, no matter who he faced. He made you go back and re-watch him, and that’s what I did. Here’s where I think he wins.

Where He Wins

  • Speed, Speed, Speed,
  • Keeping Himself Clean
  • Counter Moves

As a pass rusher, there aren’t many more skilled than Ford. Ford is explosive off the line of scrimmage, but bends the edge very well, making him that more dangerous. The reason he is so dangerous, is because he uses his long arms to his advantage(unlike Ra’Shede Hageman) and uses his hands to keep himself clean. When opponents do engage, his hand usage stands out, as he’s constantly slapping linemen’s hands down. When you factor in all of this, plus his rip move, counter to the inside, a lot of Ford’s game translates to the NFL.

Ford also shows a good motor, as he is relentlessly trying to get home and sack the quarterback. You’ll also see him chasing down plays to the opposite side. As well as versatility, though it’s limited, he has shown the ability to drop back in coverage, and look comfortable doing so. He’s a good athlete that has no issues in changing direction. At Auburn Ford was able to rush the passer from a 2 point stance a number of times, so any transitions he’s asked to make shouldn’t be an issue.

Where He Can Improve

  • Run Fits/Defense
  • Strength at the POA

When rushing the passer, Ford can convert speed to power with that hesitation move, then explode and catch the OT off guard. As a run defender, Ford needs to get stronger. He was pushed off the LOS by tight ends this year, that doesn’t bode well for the next level. While his effort is there in setting the edge, he needs to do a better job of forcing runs to bounce back to the middle. I can see teams running a draw at him, as he gets upfield, and they just run right where he was. I think his overall discipline in the run game needs to improve for him to be an every down player at the next level.

Grade/Final Thought

Multiple Pro Bowl Player, Top 10   8.5 – 9.0
Highly Productive Starter, 1st Round   8.0 – 8.4
Very Good Starter, Early 2nd Round   7.8 – 7.9
Reliable Starter, 2nd Round   7.5 – 7.7
Potential Starter in Year 2, 3rd Round   7.0 – 7.4
Backup/Spot Starter, 4th Round   6.5 – 6.9
Productive Backup, 5th Round   6.0 – 6.4
Very Good Backup/STs, 6th Round   5.5 – 5.9
Quality Backup/Good STs, 7th Round   5.0 – 5.4
Backup/STs/Project Player, 7th Round   4.5 – 4.9
Priority Free Agent w/ Limitations   4.0 – 4.4
Non-Draftable     < 4.0

 

Trait Weight Grade
Vs. The Run 4 3.3
Pass Rush Ability 4 3.9
Read & React 3 2.7
First Step 2 2
Pass Rush Moves 2 1.9
Tackling 2 1.8
Coverage 2 1.6
Motor 2 1.8
Stack & Shed/Strength at POA 2 1.4
Feet/COD 2 1.7

Ford grades out to a 7.92, or an early 2nd round, top 40 talent. What’s holding him back is his ability in the run game. He needs to improve his gap discipline and strength at the point of attack to be an every down player. Because he was predominantly rushing from the left side of the defense, teams were able to at him. Though you can’t hide anyone at the NFL, I believe he’s best suited for the “LEO/Elephant” weak outside linebacker in a 3-4. This will maximize all of his skills and minimize his weaknesses. He’ll be able to pin his ears back and rush the passer, he’ll also be able to drop into any flat zone coverages. He’ll also be protected from being down blocked and double teamed, unlike at Auburn.

 

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