How Dee Ford Fits with the Kansas City Chiefs

Brett GeringCorrespondent IMay 9, 2014

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 06:  Defensive end Dee Ford #30 of the Auburn Tigers reacts to a play against the Florida State Seminoles during the 2014 Vizio BCS National Championship Game at the Rose Bowl on January 6, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

When Commissioner Goodell announced that John Dorsey drafted rush linebacker Dee Ford, it was bittersweet for Kansas City Chiefs fans. 

The selection seemingly bolsters the Chiefs' pass rush for years to come, which is necessary when competing in the aerial onslaught known as the AFC West. However, it also likely spells the end to Tamba Hali's time in Kansas City.

So, who is Ford? And how does he fit in Bob Sutton's defense?

For starters, Auburn's edge-rushing terror screeches off the line of scrimmage like a 252-pound, ill-intentioned greyhound whose gate just opened. His acceleration immediately jumps out on film, as he routinely gains outside leverage on tackles and dips his shoulder or drives them backward via power rushes. 

Ford's awareness is also above average. If his path to the passer is derailed, or if he's assigned to spy on evasive quarterbacks, he'll regularly deflect passes by putting his hands up. 

Obviously, Ford isn't without his flaws, though. At this point in his career, his ability to support the run is fairly average. And when blockers latch onto him, he struggles to disengage.

Considering he primarily relies upon two techniques, Ford also needs to expand his pass-rushing repertoire, and a spotty injury history likely prevented him from being plucked earlier in the draft. 

Projecting the prospect's potential, Sports Illustrated's Doug Farrar adds:

The move to drop weight and play a true outside linebacker position indicates that Ford wants to be a more diverse and useful player. If he can keep his functional strength at a lighter weight and improve his coverage abilities over time, he’s got a shot as legitimizing his self-appointed status as a player who stands apart from the pack.

During the stretch that Kansas City's defense generated constant quarterback pressure, the unit looked elite. When Justin Houston and Hali succumbed to injury, the opposite held true, and the secondary was exploited on a weekly basis. 

Drafting Ford gives Bob Sutton another toy to play with. And financially speaking, if the team severs ties with Hali, it also offers Dorsey some much-needed breathing room. 


Follow Brett on Twitter: