Road to the Draft: Auburn's Dee Ford

Road to the Draft: Auburn's Dee Ford
May 5, 2014, 10:30 am
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30 for No. 29: This is the 27th in a series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
6-2, 252 pounds, 3/19/91
2013: 29 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks
2012: 34-6.5-6
2011: 7-2-1
2010: 11-2-2
From Odenville, Alabama. Medical redshirt in 2011 for disk surgery. Also missed time in 2012 with abdominal injury. Had a medical exclusion at Combine related to back surgery from two years before. First-team All-SEC. MVP of the Senior Bowl
Outstanding edge rusher who starts fast and gets around the corner with good power. Has good variety of moves and counters and plays with a relentless motor. Has shown some ability to drop into coverage and his straight-line speed and pursuit are outstanding.

A plethora of medical concerns – especially the back issue – may cause some trepidation. A little undersized to be a straight defensive end in the NFL and may have trouble with straight-on blockers who are much bigger. If he shifts to outside linebacker, he hasn’t shown the coverage ability to make him an easy bet for transitioning to that.

The work ethic, smarts and relentlessness all speak well of Ford, but the medical issues may give the team some worries. Additionally, he hasn’t timed well in change-of-direction drills and the lack of versatility is probably something that would work against him.
Bucky Brooks, - No. 20, Arizona Cardinals
Josh Norris, Rotoworld - No. 20, Arizona Cardinals