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Red Birds NFL Draft Preview: Dee Ford, Defensive End

May 1st, 2014 at 4:54 AM
By Steve Smith

'NFL Draft' photo (c) 2011, Zennie Abraham - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
The 2014 NFL Draft is just a mere week away now at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The anticipation is really starting to build.

The Arizona Cardinals may need to shore up their defensive line when they select 20th overall in the first round of this year's NFL Draft. All teams need to improve to some degree at certain positions and the Cards are certainly no exception.

Let's take an updated look at a player the Red Birds may draft when they are on the clock: Auburn University defensive end Dee Ford.

Ford is 6-foot-2 and weighs 252 pounds. Here is his profile via nfl.com:

Strengths: Quick - Very good acceleration and burst to beat blockers off the ball. Anticipates the snap very well and has a long second step. Plays with urgency and keeps working to the quarterback. Outstanding energy and work ethic. Athletic enough to fall in coverage and play on his feet.

Weaknesses: Undersized — thin-framed, lacks bulk and anchor strength to dig in vs. the run. Cannot convert speed to power and gets stalled if he cannot work half of a blocker. Struggles to discard blockers when locked up and gets inverted. Not comfortable moving in reverse. Has consistently been dinged with injuries and has never made it through a full season healthy. 

Bottom Line: High-motor college left defensive end better suited for a rush linebacker role in the pros. Has added more than 50 pounds to his frame since arriving on campus and has demonstrated the desire, work habits and competitiveness to develop into a Trent Cole-like edge rusher if he can stay healthy. Needs to stay healthy.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Dee Ford, Football, NFL, Trent Cole

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