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Old 05-10-2014, 10:00 AM  
kccrow kccrow is offline
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A Breakdown of Dee Ford

I just wanted to share an article that articulates exactly how I feel about Dee Ford and why I believe he was a monumental reach in round 1. Hopefully the Chiefs can work on the flaws and turn him into a beast like they did with Dontari Poe. We shall see.

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2014/5/2...port-breakdown

Quote:
The Notebook: Dee Ford is no 'blind dog in a meat market'

By Stephen White on May 2 2014, 9:30a 21

The Auburn defensive end once claimed to be the best pass rusher in the draft. Retired NFL defensive end Stephen White heads to the film room for a little fact checking.


Former Auburn defensive end Dee Ford caused quite a stir at the combine when he said he was a better player than former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, potentially the top pick in the NFL Draft. Ford also called out Clowney on his technique, saying he played like a "blind dog in a meat market."
As an SEC football fan, I was already intrigued with Ford because of how fast I saw him get off the ball. Those quotes gave me even more motivation to break him down.
For the purposes of this breakdown I watched Ford play against Ole Miss, Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri and Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game. Those represented the fifth, ninth, 12th, 13th and 14th games of Ford's final season, respectively.
Stand up guy

In a 4-3 defense, the defensive ends are usually down in a three-point stance. That's one reason why 3-4 teams worry about drafting 4-3 ends as rush linebackers. Dee Ford, on the other hand, played in a 4-3 defense at Auburn and stood up a lot in the five games I watched.

He averaged being in a two-point stance about 16 times a game. He wasn't necessarily beasting out of a two-point stance and he only dropped into coverage a handful of times, but stand up he did. Still, any teams that run a 3-4 will have seen enough of him operating standing up that they should have a pretty accurate read on how well he can adapt to playing outside linebacker in their system.
Based on these five games, I'm not personally sold on Ford being a good fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. I saw Ford get overwhelmed too many times when an offensive tackle base blocked him. I know that Ford got 29 reps of 225 pounds at his pro day, but I don't see that kind of power in his game watching him play. In a six-technique (head up on the tight end), Ford repeatedly got pushed off the ball and reached by the right tackle when facing a combo block or cut off by the tight end when the run was away from him. He just didn't hold up all that well against the run from what I saw in those five games.


He also wasn't all that effective as a pass rusher in a two-point stance. (We'll get to his work as a pass rusher from a three-point stance in a minute.) In a two-point stance, he lost the explosive get-off that he generated out of a three-point stance and without that head start, so to speak, it was much harder for him to beat right tackles around the corner.
I'm sure some folks might disagree in my assessment because of Ford's athleticism and bench press numbers, if nothing else, and that's fine. After looking up Ford's measurements at the combine, I noticed that his arms are less than 33 inches long. For comparison's sake I will remind you that Clowney's arms are 34 1/2 inches long. To me, Ford's arms being relatively short explained a lot of why I didn't see him play as dominantly as I thought he would. That reconciled the gulf between what Ford did at his pro day and what I saw on film, so I am confident enough in my assessment that a differing opinion won't shake it.
Glass houses

I don't mind guys who have confidence in themselves; in fact, playing in the NFL demands it. Where it starts getting fuzzy for me is when one guy calls out another. Like, it's cool to say you're the best, but if you also say another guy is trash, well, that's almost sure to put you under the microscope.
Dee Ford did not play like a "blind dog in a meat market," but it's not like he had great technique either. I already mentioned how poorly he played at times in a six-technique, but really he wasn't much of a factor at all against the run. Most of the other defensive linemen I have broken down so far had a lot of tackles for a loss in their games. Ford had three.
One. Two. Three.

He got pushed around way too much for a guy who is as strong as his bench press numbers would suggest. Ford also got reached (tackle gains leverage on defensive end's outside shoulder, creating a running lane outside) a lot more than I am comfortable seeing from a possible first-round pick. Other times, he would just run around blocks assuming it was a pass, opening up running lanes inside. He did get good extension with his arms and locked his elbows when taking on blocks, but none of that matters if you are still giving ground.


You might think I'm hating right now because obviously "we all know" that Ford is going to be a pass rusher on the next level anyway. But the thing is, a team that is thinking of taking Ford in the first round is going to expect him to play more than just on third-and-long. Maybe not right away, but at some point in the very near future that team will want Ford to be a three-down type of player. That means his ability to play the run is important.
Besides, he has some work to do in the pass rush department as well.
Burn, baby, burn

There were two things that surprised me when I was done breaking down Dee Ford. First, I thought he would have attempted to turn the corner a lot more than 42 times in five games. Second, I definitely thought he would have won more than just 12 of those outside rushes.


I will give Ford credit for developing a nice level rush (sell a speed rush to the level of the quarterback, then push the offensive tackle by using his backward momentum against him and rip inside to make the sack) as a change-up to his speed rush. Of the seven sacks he had in those five games, two came off a level rush. He also had a pretty good simple inside rip move that he used effectively as well.


Still, for a guy who ran a 4.5-something at his pro day, Ford's technique wasn't quite good enough the majority of the time he tried to get around the corner. Sometimes, it appeared that he just didn't trust his speed and gave up on the corner too early. Other times, he did not use a rip to get the offensive tackle's hands off him which allowed the offensive tackle to push him by the quarterback. And then there was the fact that he didn't always get his hips turned toward the quarterback, hindering his ability to gain outside leverage on the offensive tackle.
Hell, on two of those seven sacks, the quarterback just ran into him. It's better to be lucky than good at times, but if you take away the sack he got when he was unblocked and the one he got off a quarterback scramble, that means only three of those seven sacks came when he beat an offensive lineman with a pass rush move.


I know that's deeper in the weeds than I normally get in these breakdowns, but it's the little things that separate Ford's success rate at turning the corner from a guy like Michael Sam, who's slower and still much more effective at getting around offensive tackles to the outside. Ford didn't have much in the way of a power rush either, also similar to Sam.

Even if I threw out everything else and just focused on Ford as a pass rusher, I didn't see the kind of game-changer who was so good that it was enough to take him in the first round. That's just me though.


Bring your hard hat

Between the two, Sam was a much better pass rusher in college than Ford in the five games I saw for each guy. It wasn't really even close.
But we aren't talking about college, we are talking about the NFL. As as far as NFL prospects, Ford does indeed have the edge there.
When you look at the kind of numbers Ford put up at his pro day, you focus more on what you can turn him into than what he was. No matter how much better Sam's technique gets, he will always be limited to a certain extent by his lack of speed. Most coaches think they can improve a guy's technique, so with Ford they'll see a guy they can fix, so to speak. For any shortcomings Ford had, he definitely hustled to the ball all the time, an athletic guy with some playmaking ability whose effort teams won't ever have to coach up. That's a helluva combination, one that most decision-makers are always on the lookout for.


Dee Ford thinks he is the top pass rusher in this draft. I don't agree with him, and that's OK. I just hope that deep down he knows how much work he has ahead of him to sharpen up his technique and increase his functional strength because he is far from a finished product his damn self.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:16 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by kccrow View Post
I just wanted to share an article that articulates exactly how I feel about Dee Ford and why I believe he was a monumental reach in round 1.
I agree that he is a high risk player.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:17 AM   #3
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Same thing was said about Bruce Irvin when he was taken really high.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:20 AM   #4
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Same thing was said about Bruce Irvin when he was taken really high.
bruce irvin plays OLB in a 4-3 defense
Irvin had 2 sacks in 2013 (his second yr).
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:50 AM   #5
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Notable stat I heard on cbs radio: Peyton Manning barely completed 40% of his passes past 15 yards downfield last year.

Makes this selection have more meaning. Get pressure before WR's can get downfield and be ready for screens/picks. That's all that offense is.

Also keep in mind that we contributed to that. Flowers played hurt at Arrowhead and got lit up, as well as the safety who shall not be named.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RunKC View Post
Notable stat I heard on cbs radio: Peyton Manning barely completed 40% of his passes past 15 yards downfield last year.
Here is in depth data on Manning's deep ball accuracy:
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...us-pass-depth/

He completed 58% of his passes between 11-20yrds with an accuracy % (which takes into account drops, etc) at 68%. PFF graded him as 3rd best in the NFL at that distance.

At 21-30 yrds his completion % and accuracy is ~ 42%. PFF still ranks him 4th best in the NFL at that distance. At that passing depth he still releases the ball on average in 2.43 seconds (among the best in the NFL).

Throws over 20 yrds his overall accuracy and completion percentage is just under 50%. That is among the highest in the NFL and his PFF rating is the highest in the NFL. He gets rid of those passes on average in 2.56 seconds which is the fastest in the NFL and over .5 seconds faster than Alex Smith.

His quick release and smarts make it very difficult for Pass rushers to get to him, and his accuracy is not as bad as people think it is (its actually very good). With the weapons around him and his offensive line he is difficult to stop.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:47 AM   #7
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Here is in depth data on Manning's deep ball accuracy:
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...us-pass-depth/

He completed 58% of his passes between 11-20yrds with an accuracy % (which takes into account drops, etc) at 68%. PFF graded him as 3rd best in the NFL at that distance.

At 21-30 yrds his completion % and accuracy is ~ 42%. PFF still ranks him 4th best in the NFL at that distance. At that passing depth he still releases the ball on average in 2.43 seconds (among the best in the NFL).

Throws over 20 yrds his overall accuracy and completion percentage is just under 50%. That is among the highest in the NFL and his PFF rating is the highest in the NFL. He gets rid of those passes on average in 2.56 seconds which is the fastest in the NFL and over .5 seconds faster than Alex Smith.

His quick release and smarts make it very difficult for Pass rushers to get to him, and his accuracy is not as bad as people think it is (its actually very good). With the weapons around him and his offensive line he is difficult to stop.
Correct. The only weakness Manning has is his arm at the moment, which is natural given his age. Only way to stop him is to cover the receivers and get pressure on him.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:04 AM   #8
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Looking forward to seeing this kid play-should help the pass rush big time!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:20 PM   #9
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A better pick than Fisher.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:58 PM   #10
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A better pick than Fisher.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by planetdoc View Post
Here is in depth data on Manning's deep ball accuracy:
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...us-pass-depth/

He completed 58% of his passes between 11-20yrds with an accuracy % (which takes into account drops, etc) at 68%. PFF graded him as 3rd best in the NFL at that distance.

At 21-30 yrds his completion % and accuracy is ~ 42%. PFF still ranks him 4th best in the NFL at that distance. At that passing depth he still releases the ball on average in 2.43 seconds (among the best in the NFL).

Throws over 20 yrds his overall accuracy and completion percentage is just under 50%. That is among the highest in the NFL and his PFF rating is the highest in the NFL. He gets rid of those passes on average in 2.56 seconds which is the fastest in the NFL and over .5 seconds faster than Alex Smith.

His quick release and smarts make it very difficult for Pass rushers to get to him, and his accuracy is not as bad as people think it is (its actually very good). With the weapons around him and his offensive line he is difficult to stop.
Also the illegal picks they get away with are difficult to stop. But the donks have always been cheaters so that's nothing new.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:13 PM   #12
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A better pick than Fisher.
No ****ing way.

Dee Ford was a reach at that point in the draft. Fisher was generally regarded as one of the top two/three guys in his draft class by just about everyone.

The guy has very limited numbers/statistics to back up his pass rush potential and looks to be drafted on physical numbers alone.

I think he's more Vernon Gholston than anything at this point.

I think that the Chiefs/Dorsey got caught up in his numbers versus actual production. I would have preferred guys like Kyle Van Noy or Trevor Reilly over Dee Ford straight up due to their versatility and college production.

Dee Ford is a special teamer/situational pass rusher at this point at best. They could have picked up the best guard prospect in the draft in either Xavier S'ua-Filo or Gabe Jackson and filled a major hole on the offensive line rather than wasting the pick on a guy who is going to struggle finding the field on regular downs.

I think it was a ****ed up pick.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Saccopoo View Post
No ****ing way.

Dee Ford was a reach at that point in the draft. Fisher was generally regarded as one of the top two/three guys in his draft class by just about everyone.

The guy has very limited numbers/statistics to back up his pass rush potential and looks to be drafted on physical numbers alone.

I think he's more Vernon Gholston than anything at this point.

I think that the Chiefs/Dorsey got caught up in his numbers versus actual production. I would have preferred guys like Kyle Van Noy or Trevor Reilly over Dee Ford straight up due to their versatility and college production.

Dee Ford is a special teamer/situational pass rusher at this point at best. They could have picked up the best guard prospect in the draft in either Xavier S'ua-Filo or Gabe Jackson and filled a major hole on the offensive line rather than wasting the pick on a guy who is going to struggle finding the field on regular downs.

I think it was a ****ed up pick.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:32 PM   #14
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:11 PM   #15
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No ****ing way.

Dee Ford was a reach at that point in the draft. Fisher was generally regarded as one of the top two/three guys in his draft class by just about everyone.

The guy has very limited numbers/statistics to back up his pass rush potential and looks to be drafted on physical numbers alone.

I think he's more Vernon Gholston than anything at this point.

I think that the Chiefs/Dorsey got caught up in his numbers versus actual production. I would have preferred guys like Kyle Van Noy or Trevor Reilly over Dee Ford straight up due to their versatility and college production.

Dee Ford is a special teamer/situational pass rusher at this point at best. They could have picked up the best guard prospect in the draft in either Xavier S'ua-Filo or Gabe Jackson and filled a major hole on the offensive line rather than wasting the pick on a guy who is going to struggle finding the field on regular downs.

I think it was a ****ed up pick.
Do you know how many guys with upside are competing for the starting RG spot?

A **** ton. One of them is bound to shake out and do a decent job for us.

The only thing worse than wasting a 1st rounder on interior linemen is wasting a 1st rounder on interior linemen and creating a logjam at the ****ing position.

It's like spending anything more than a 7th round pick on a kicker or punter.
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