In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2014 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on May 8th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Auburn’s Dee Ford.
Name: Dee Ford
Weight: 252 pounds
Position: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker
When it comes to rushing the passer, South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney is usually the first name out of many fans’ mouths.
Listening to NFL experts, Dee Ford should be mentioned right alongside him.
The Auburn star has a natural gift for getting after the quarterback, notching 20.5 sacks over his career. Over half those sacks came during a breakout senior season when he posted 10.5. Ford proved to be at his best in big situations, sacking Jameis Winston twice in the BCS Championship Game. He also posted two sacks in the fourth quarter against Texas A&M to ice an important victory for Auburn. The defensive end/linebacker is also disruptive against the run, posting 14.5 tackles for loss as a senior. For his stellar 2013 campaign he was named a First Team All-SEC selection.
Ford is considered one of the best pure athletes in the draft. He has top-end speed accelerating off the snap coupled with a terrific closing burst to take down the passer. To his credit, Ford has an arsenal of moves he unleashes on blockers and is deft at overpowering them as well. The Tiger is also a student of the game, and is credited for being an apt pupil who soaks up all the knowledge he can.
The biggest issue Ford has dealt with has been injuries. He suffered a season-ending herniated disc three weeks into the 2011 campaign, costing him the entire year. A knee injury sapped him of the first two games in 2013, while a lumbar spine issue kept him from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine.
Still, as the NFL turns more and more into a passing league, the ability to get after the quarterback has taken on even more importance. So for any team in need of a dynamic game changer to hassle the quarterback, they would do very well to add Ford to the mix.
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.