Size - 6021v - 252 v - 4.63e
Strong Points -Athlete, speed, use hands, pass rush, pursuit
Weak Points - Size for defensive end, consistency defending the run, shed run blocks, back problem
2013 Stats: 29 total tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks
Summation - Dee is a fifth-year senior and a two-year starter at defensive end for Auburn. He usually lines up on the left side. He plays in a rotation but still gets about 65% of the defensive snaps. Because of that rotation, his overall tackle count is low.
Dee was given a medical red shirt in 2011 after injuring his back in the third game and missing the rest of the season. At the Combine, the medical people advised Dee not to work out because of a back issue. The severity of that problem will ultimately determine where Dee gets drafted.
As a player, Ford is a pass rusher first. He is very quick off the ball, with an explosive first step. He stays low and knows how to use his hands. He has the snap and power through his hips to bull-rush and the quick feet, body control, and flexibility to be effective with moves and countermoves. He shows an excellent burst off of blocks to close to the quarterback. He consistently shows he can dip his shoulder and get under a blocker.
Ford can be inconsistent against the run. He lacks natural size and bulk, and at times, can be slow to get off the blocks of big lineman. He is instinctive and quick to find the ball but can be over powered. He is better when he uses his athleticism to slip blocks and run to the ball. As a pursuit player, he is very good because he consistently takes good angles, is a top competitor, and has speed.
Ford will be best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL. He has played on his feet in the past and has shown he can drop into coverage. Playing that position, he can still use his pass-rushing skills to his advantage. There are some 4-3 clubs that will like him, but I don't think he can be an every-down player playing as a 4-3 defensive end. He just won't be able to hold up versus the run at a top level.
Going forward, the main concern is his back issue. If it is something serious, it could have a negative effective on his draft status. If he does need surgery, that may not be a bad thing. Depending on the problem, it may be an 8 -10 week rehab, and he would be ready well before the start of training camp.
Grade - 6.7 A