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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 07-14-2014, 12:05 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Saccopoo View Post
I don't hate Dee Ford. I don't even know the guy.

However, I loathe the pick.

The guy didn't produce in college despite his prodigious athletic talents. He's a major work in progress that may or may not pan out. That's not the guy you take in the first round when you have numerous needs at other positions (WR/OL/DB/ILB/etc.) I know that they need depth at the OLB position, but Ford is a one trick pony that didn't really do that one trick very well.
What the **** are you talking about? Ford had the best production of any pass rusher last year.
He single handedly owned in big games last year. Look at the TAMU game. He killed it. The national championship game he killed it. He killed it at the senior bowl. He had double digit sacks last year.

There was no WR or DB with the pick at that point. Don't even bring up Dennard and his slow ass who can't turn his hips well.

Bottom line is you have your favorites. 2 coaches who are very highly regarded in the NFL today wanted him in the first rd and 1 coach got him.

I'm gonna trust they know what they are doing over you. They have he success to back it up.
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:11 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Halfcan View Post
Dee Ford will DOMINATE!

Steal of the draft and tickles the ivories like a champ!

Better get you Ford jersey now before the price goes up. You will be hearing his name a lot during camp and preseason - and that will carry him into a very productive rookie year where he will earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

This kid is a Beast!!
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by RunKC View Post
What the **** are you talking about? Ford had the best production of any pass rusher last year.
He single handedly owned in big games last year. Look at the TAMU game. He killed it. The national championship game he killed it. He killed it at the senior bowl. He had double digit sacks last year.

There was no WR or DB with the pick at that point. Don't even bring up Dennard and his slow ass who can't turn his hips well.

Bottom line is you have your favorites. 2 coaches who are very highly regarded in the NFL today wanted him in the first rd and 1 coach got him.

I'm gonna trust they know what they are doing over you. They have he success to back it up.
I wouldn't call Chip Kelly highly regarded. Not yet, anyway.
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:36 PM   #34
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Sounded okay to me. Great to see he is focused on family, church and music- much better than seeing party pics of him in Vegas and rolling up bills in bathroom stalls-like Johnny football.

Seems like a solid pick!
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:40 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Saccopoo View Post
I don't hate Dee Ford. I don't even know the guy.

However, I loathe the pick.

The guy didn't produce in college despite his prodigious athletic talents. He's a major work in progress that may or may not pan out. That's not the guy you take in the first round when you have numerous needs at other positions (WR/OL/DB/ILB/etc.) I know that they need depth at the OLB position, but Ford is a one trick pony that didn't really do that one trick very well.
You must have missed the second half of the season last year when the Chiefs managed zero pass rush. To call Ford a backup-must mean that we will have no injuries-which would be nice. Based on last season-he will get a lot of playing time. A team can never have too many pass rushers.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:42 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Halfcan View Post
You must have missed the second half of the season last year when the Chiefs managed zero pass rush. To call Ford a backup-must mean that we will have no injuries-which would be nice. Based on last season-he will get a lot of playing time. A team can never have too many pass rushers.
Houston was basically a non-factor after the third game, then got hurt and Hali was left alone to do what he does - attempt to out work the other guy, all game long.

Without sufficient help, that's going to wear a guy down - even a guy with the tenacity of Hali.

As well, our secondary was absolute dog shit after Flowers started to hobble. The safeties couldn't zone (although, Abdullah made a valiant effort, but it was a day late and a dollar short from a coaching perspective), and our MLB was basically non-existent as DJ was spending his work days trying to cover over on the absence of Houston as well as effectively attempting to do his job as well (with minimal at best support from the other ILB spot).

Basically, what it meant was that once we got through the gauntlet of cheese the first three weeks, defensive coordinators figured out that we didn't have jack dick in terms of speed and length on the defensive side of the ball.

We then got violated.

Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith in their prime couldn't have helped us. (Nor could they have in their prime as it seems.)
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:50 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Saccopoo View Post
Houston was basically a non-factor after the third game, then got hurt and Hali was left alone to do what he does - attempt to out work the other guy, all game long.

Without sufficient help, that's going to wear a guy down - even a guy with the tenacity of Hali.

As well, our secondary was absolute dog shit after Flowers started to hobble. The safeties couldn't zone (although, Abdullah made a valiant effort, but it was a day late and a dollar short from a coaching perspective), and our MLB was basically non-existent as DJ was spending his work days trying to cover over on the absence of Houston as well as effectively attempting to do his job as well (with minimal at best support from the other ILB spot).

Basically, what it meant was that once we got through the gauntlet of cheese the first three weeks, defensive coordinators figured out that we didn't have jack dick in terms of speed and length on the defensive side of the ball.

We then got violated.

Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith in their prime couldn't have helped us. (Nor could they have in their prime as it seems.)
In short, KC's pass rush sucks with Hali and Houston so don't bother improving it, right?
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Old 07-18-2014, 07:09 PM   #38
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In short, KC's pass rush sucks with Hali and Houston so don't bother improving it, right?
What would have improved it would have been Kyle Van Noy lined up next to Derrick Johnson.

Not only would that have given you substantially more flexibility in the pass, defending the middle, disrupting the timing patterns on crossing routes, but it would have given us a guy who was superlative at inside blitz/rushes which would have freed up the double teams either Hali or Houston see on a per play basis. It would have also allowed Houston to continue to rush versus having him drop back into coverage. As well, Van Noy has the flexibility to play inside and out in blitz/rush, pass defense and run defense. Based on his college production, Ford only does one thing mildly effective and that's timed QB rushes. He's not effective against the run. He hardly ever played in coverage. And he was down right bad in making impact plays past some sacks.

Because, outside of DJ, there wasn't jack and shit on the roster at ILB/MLB. Zombo was/is just as effective as Ford is going to be in the role of backup rush backer. Probably more so actually.

I think it was an Al Davis level pick based on his Pro Day numbers and his shirtless 40 runs.

Maybe the guy turns out to be special, but I'm not holding my breath on it.
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:12 AM   #39
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Frank Zombo is just as good a pass rusher as Dee Ford. /sacsfinest
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Old 07-20-2014, 09:29 AM   #40
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Frank Zombo is just as good a pass rusher as Dee Ford. /sacsfinest
Very similar players in college actually.

Zombo is a little bigger at 6'3 1/2", 255 lb., but both had similar pro day results.

The problem here is that because we took Dee Ford with a first round pick, everyone starts washing his balls immediately.

Same thing happened with Branden Albert. Everyone just naturally assumed that because the team used a first rounder on him that he was going to end up being a super stud. "Wait until next year." "He's got to grow into the position." Yada, yada, yada. I expect we'll have the same shit being said about Ford because people just can't envision a team wasting a first rounder on a guy who is going to end up being a mediocre at best type of player.

Dee Ford is getting a pole polishing around here, when, in fact, he was basically a smaller version of Zombo in college with a little less production. But because Zombo was a FA, he sucks, while we spent a first on Ford, so he's going to be the savior of our horrible pass rush (that features two All-Pro level players already who've each averaged double figure sacks the past two seasons).
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Old 07-21-2014, 08:23 AM   #41
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When Dee Ford begins owning, Sacc is going to look like his sig.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:25 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Saccopoo View Post
Very similar players in college actually.

Zombo is a little bigger at 6'3 1/2", 255 lb., but both had similar pro day results.

The problem here is that because we took Dee Ford with a first round pick, everyone starts washing his balls immediately.

Same thing happened with Branden Albert. Everyone just naturally assumed that because the team used a first rounder on him that he was going to end up being a super stud. "Wait until next year." "He's got to grow into the position." Yada, yada, yada. I expect we'll have the same shit being said about Ford because people just can't envision a team wasting a first rounder on a guy who is going to end up being a mediocre at best type of player.

Dee Ford is getting a pole polishing around here, when, in fact, he was basically a smaller version of Zombo in college with a little less production. But because Zombo was a FA, he sucks, while we spent a first on Ford, so he's going to be the savior of our horrible pass rush (that features two All-Pro level players already who've each averaged double figure sacks the past two seasons).

Who said Frank the "Zombie" Zombo sucks? He has played pretty well for limited playing time-made a few big plays- more than a former player that went to the Falcons for big money.

Some are saying Houston will leave for FA and won't resign with the chiefs- doubtful we let him get away- but I guess it could happen. Plus some are saying Hali is as good as cut after this season. So with these two wild cards plus the injury problems last year- seems Ford is a nice insurance policy. He will have a year of playing time in case he needs to take one of these spots.

Oh yes- the Van Noy fall back answer- we didn't draft him-so maybe it is time to stop talking about him? Or will it be that whenever Ford is mentioned -we have to hear the old "we shoulda drafted Van Noy"?

Time will tell-but so far Ford has shown a great attitude, is a good citizen off the field and wants to learn to be the best. These attributes don't scream BUST to me.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:20 AM   #43
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I was a big advocate for Kyle Van Noy before the draft, but looking at Dee Ford, it makes far more sense to draft a guy like the playmaker we did.

He's much faster than Van Noy running a 4.54 to Van Noy's 4.71.He's stronger than Van Noy benching 8 more reps at 225.

Most importantly, his first step blows Van Noy's out of the water. It's not even close. And that is absolutely what this team needed last year.

So you're telling me that selecting a guy who is as fast and as strong as Jadeveon Clowney, has a first step that is scientifically proven, both on game tape and in sports science, to be the same as Von ****ing Miller and is also hungry to succeed....was a bad pick? And we got this guy at pick number 23? Seriously?

I haven't felt this good about a first round pick since Eric Berry. It's been proven time and time again that adding more pass rushers with standout qualities is a plan for success.

On paper Dee Ford looks like he is a weaker version of Von Miller, but better and more stronger version of Bruce Irvin. I'll absolutely take that and I do think the kid is going to be very fun to watch this season.
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:26 PM   #44
Saccopoo Saccopoo is offline
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I was a big advocate for Kyle Van Noy before the draft, but looking at Dee Ford, it makes far more sense to draft a guy like the playmaker we did.

He's much faster than Van Noy running a 4.54 to Van Noy's 4.71.He's stronger than Van Noy benching 8 more reps at 225.

Most importantly, his first step blows Van Noy's out of the water. It's not even close. And that is absolutely what this team needed last year.

So you're telling me that selecting a guy who is as fast and as strong as Jadeveon Clowney, has a first step that is scientifically proven, both on game tape and in sports science, to be the same as Von ****ing Miller and is also hungry to succeed....was a bad pick? And we got this guy at pick number 23? Seriously?

I haven't felt this good about a first round pick since Eric Berry. It's been proven time and time again that adding more pass rushers with standout qualities is a plan for success.

On paper Dee Ford looks like he is a weaker version of Von Miller, but better and more stronger version of Bruce Irvin. I'll absolutely take that and I do think the kid is going to be very fun to watch this season.
The problem I have with it is that he might have a great first step, but the freaking guy never turned the corner in a game. Never. He couldn't fight through or maneuver around a tackles initial punch. If he got the inside step on the snap, he was effective, but that's about it. That will get absolutely and unequivocally negated in the pros. Guards are too freaking good. Tackles are too fast and too long.

I think that they are hoping that they can coach up his athletic potential, but they are really hoping that they (the Chiefs defensive coaching staff) are starting with football's version of Locke's Association of Ideas versus a guy who has an understanding of pass rush techniques and is capable of applying them in a game time situation.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #45
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Who said Frank the "Zombie" Zombo sucks? He has played pretty well for limited playing time-made a few big plays- more than a former player that went to the Falcons for big money.
Some are saying Houston will leave for FA and won't resign with the chiefs- doubtful we let him get away- but I guess it could happen. Plus some are saying Hali is as good as cut after this season. So with these two wild cards plus the injury problems last year- seems Ford is a nice insurance policy. He will have a year of playing time in case he needs to take one of these spots.

Oh yes- the Van Noy fall back answer- we didn't draft him-so maybe it is time to stop talking about him? Or will it be that whenever Ford is mentioned -we have to hear the old "we shoulda drafted Van Noy"?

Time will tell-but so far Ford has shown a great attitude, is a good citizen off the field and wants to learn to be the best. These attributes don't scream BUST to me.
Who is this referencing?
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