Dec 7, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Missouri Tigers quarterback James Franklin (1) is taken down by Auburn Tigers defensive end Dee Ford (30) during the fourth quarter of the 2013 SEC Championship game at Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Dee Ford, DE Auburn

If you watched the Senior Bowl this year, you should know the name Dee Ford.

Ford was named the MVP for that game after getting two big sacks and a pass deflection after making some of the best offensive tackles in college football look like walking turnstiles.  Ford should also be well known for his performance in the national championship game this year, where he added two sacks as well.

His 6’2″ and 243 pound body is misleading.  He plays like a player much larger but still retains an absolute burst of speed off the snap.  At Auburn, he was used as both a pass rushing defensive end and as a defender in pass coverage, which makes him an even more attractive option for many teams.

Here are his statistics over five seasons at Auburn:

  • Jan 25, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad defensive end Dee Ford of Auburn (30) sacks North squad quarterback Logan Thomas of Virginia Tech (3) during the first half of a game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    53 games played

  • 60 solo tackles
  • 93 total tackles
  • 27.5 tackles for a loss
  • 20.5 sacks
  • 1 interception
  • 3 passes defended
  • 3 forced fumbles

If those stats look a little weak for you, there’s a good reason for that.  Ford wasn’t a starter at Auburn until his fourth season with the club.  A majority of these stats were accumulated over the course of the two years he was a starter.  He seems to continue to get better as time progresses, going from 1 sack in 2011 to 6 sacks in 2012 and then 10.5 sacks in 2013.

Strengths

  •  Great timing on the snap
  • Excellent speed rusher
  • Stronger than he looks
  • Good balance when changing directions

Weaknesses

  •  Smaller size for an NFL defensive end
  • Could be seen as an OLB for a 3-4 defense

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota will be looking for a starting defensive end opposite Brian Robison this season.  Ford could fill that gap.

My Take

Although I like what Ford brings to the table, I don’t see him as being worthy of the Vikings #8 overall pick.  But he will likely be long gone by the time Minnesota selects at #40.  They would most likely have to trade back into the first round to get him, and I don’t see that happening.

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Tags: Brian Robison Dee Ford Minnesota Vikings

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