Dee Ford NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Kansas City Chiefs OLB

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Dee Ford NFL Draft 2014: Highlights, Scouting Report for Kansas City Chiefs OLB
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn (HT: 6’2” WT: 252 lbs)

Kansas City Chiefs

First Round: 23rd Pick

NFL Comparison: Sio Moore, OLB, Oakland Raiders

Combine Weigh-In
Height Weight Arm Hand
6'2" 252 32 7/8" 10 1/4"

NFL.com

Combine Workout
40-yd dash 10-yd split Vert Broad 3-Cone Shuttle
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP

NFL.com

 

Positives

  • Powerful legs that generate power and facilitate explosive movements. 
  • Has a compact frame that is a small target for the hands of blockers. 
  • Plays with his eyes up and locates the football well. 
  • Has pure speed-rusher potential around the corner. 
  • Explosive first step to accelerate, regularly the first Auburn defensive lineman off the ball. 
  • Bends around the edge with enough flexibility to dip under blocks and pop back up. 
  • Flashes a heavy punch to the frame of pass-blockers while converting speed to power. 
  • Delivers crushing hits when he gets home as a pass-rusher. 
  • Disciplined in rush lanes to contain mobile quarterbacks when asked. 
  • Gets his hands up with fine timing to deflect passes. 
  • Strength to engage multiple blockers and hold ground on the edge. 
  • More effective as games went on and wore down tackles. 
  • Experience playing from two- and three-point stances. 
  • Plays with a bit of nastiness and a sought-after attitude.

 

Negatives

  • Very linear athlete who lacks significant lateral quickness. 
  • Uninventive as a rusher, little creativity or variance to his moves. 
  • Lacks combination moves to utilize the threat of the speed rush. 
  • Not overly precise in the way he uses his hands, doesn’t bat away those of the blocker. 
  • Little usage of power to compress pockets from the outside. 
  • Rarely beat blocks to the inside, one-dimensional for the most part. 
  • Little experience in pass coverage or dropping from the line of scrimmage. 
  • Struggles to extend hands and create space to disengage from blocks as a run defender. 
  • Loses the edge all too often by getting hung up on blocks. 
  • Can be handled over, even overpowered by tight ends. 
  • Doesn’t chase down plays in pursuit often, gets to the ball at an alarmingly low rate. 
  • Negligible top-end speed when pursuing in the open field. 
  • Leans forward coming off the ball and will jump into the neutral zone at times. 
  • Was affected by minor injuries at different points in his senior season. 
  • Played a simple role in Auburn’s defense.

Collegiate Statistics
Year Team Tackles TFL Sacks FF PD INT
2009 Auburn 12 2.5 1 0 1 1
2010 Auburn 11 2 2 0 0 0
2011 Auburn 7 2 1 0 0 0
2012 Auburn 34 6.5 6 1 1 0
2013 Auburn 29 14.5 10.5 2 1 0

Sports-Reference.com

 

Personal Notes

  • A 3-star prospect as a recruit in the Class of 2009, 62nd ranked outside linebacker by Rivals
  • Missed final 10 games of 2011 season with a back injury
  • 2013 first-team All-SEC. 
  • Was held out of drills at the NFL Scouting Combine over concern related to his 2011 surgery on a herniated disk in his lower back, as per NFL Network's Steve Wyche (via Chase Goodbread of NFL.com).

 

Ratings Chart

Graph made at nces.ed.gov.

 

Overall

Ford has vaulted himself into the first-round conversation by capping off a productive senior season with a strong Senior Bowl week. His initial quickness off the ball and flexibility make him an effective speed-rusher. He has characteristics of a pass-rush specialist who can be a terror on the outside.

There are concerns and limitations that come with Ford. He’s a bit of a one-dimensional rusher and probably has no business as a run defender in the NFL. On top of that, he’s struggled with injuries and couldn’t be cleared to participate at the combine. That’s something teams must check up on.

At the end of the day, Ford has the look of a pass-rusher who can be a luxury pick for a team looking to add to its sub-packages defensively.

 

Draft Projection: 1st Round

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