4/3/21: Ford was excellent for Pittsburgh in 2020, staying around the ball and producing big plays. He decided to opt out part way through the season and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. Team sources like Ford as a player, but they feel he is a gambler and are concerned about his thin frame. While Ford is considered to have good tape, he carries massive character concerns. He could slide well into the third day of the 2021 NFL Draft because of off-the-field issues.
9/5/20: The first thing that jumps about Ford is how he is always around the ball, and the primary reason for that is his instinctiveness. Ford has excellent anticipation and is very fast at reading his keys. That leads to him disrupting plays and flying around the field to get to the ball-carrier.
Ford is a superb run defender who comes downhill or flies to the perimeter to make tackles. Generally, Ford does a nice job of getting ball-carriers to the ground, and he shows the ability to take their legs out from underneath them.
For pass coverage, Ford is excellent in zone. He covers a ton of ground and uses his instincts to disrupt passing lanes. Ford does a nice job of breaking up contested catches by going for the ball rather than taking out the receiver. He shows impressive ball skills for a physical safety and is a threat to create turnovers.
It would be good to see Ford show man-coverage skills on tight ends and slot receivers in 2020. But that might not be seen because last year Pittsburgh had him playing zone so much of the time. In the NFL, Ford could be an interchangeable safety who plays free or strong safety. He has the speed to cover ground on the back end and plays the ball well downfield. His mentality, aggressiveness, and physicality, however, could make him a better fit at strong safety, but he should gain some weight for the NFL.