Gets depth in his drop to neutralize speed rushers
Bends at the knee
Quick to the second level
Could be shorter than his listed height
Arms could be shorter than expected
Played better at right tackle than he did at guard
Not a road-grader as a run blocker
Does not display a mean streak or nasty attitude
Summary: It took some time for Ford to develop at Oklahoma, but eventually he established himself as the team's best offensive lineman from a line that is sending multiple blockers to the NFL. Ford earned a starting spot in 2016 before a broken leg ended his season early. He then played banged up in 2017, but was an effective blocker for Baker Mayfield and Rodney Anderson during the Sooners' run to the college football playoff. In 2018, Ford served as the starting right tackle for the Sooners, and had his best season. He dominated the Big XII defenders in 2018 and established himself as an intriguing NFL prospect.
As a pass blocker, Ford has quick feet and surprising athleticism for such a big lineman. He has the ability to use his feet to wall off speed rushers and get depth in his drop. With rare agility for a big, thick blocker, Ford is able to hand speed rushers coming off the edge. Ford's size also leads to him having a good anchor to stonewall bull rushers and keep them from pushing him back into the pocket. Ford's pass protection skills looked better at right tackle than his earlier time at guard, but for the NFL, he should be an asset at guard or tackle in pass blocking.
For the ground game, Ford is an interesting player. Given his size and bulk, many would think that he would have been a road-grader going against the weak Big XII defenses, but that was not his game in college. He could generate movement as he would lean on defenders, get within their frame and push, and manipulate them. However, he was not a bulldozer who bullied defenders and rolled them around the field. Part of that could be scheme-related as the Sooners employ a high-paced spread offense and don't run an old-school downhill power-run offense. In the NFL, Ford may not ever be a true road-grader. But, he should be a dependable run blocker who generates movement in the ground game at right tackle or guard.
Ford could fit at a variety of positions in the NFL. Given his feet and athletic ability, some teams could try to play him at left tackle. He would be a better fit at guard or right tackle. Ford is expected to be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He could go in the middle to late portion of Round 1.
Player Comparison: Brandon Brooks. Brooks (6-5, 335) played right tackle in college but has turned into a Pro Bowl guard. Even though he is big, Brooks is not a true road-grader. Brooks also is a surprisingly good athlete who is light on his feet for such big blocker. In the NFL, I think Ford could be a Pro Bowl-caliber blocker like Brooks has been for the Eagles and Texans.
NFL Matches: Arizona, Buffalo, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Philadelphia, Houston, Minnesota, Los Angeles Rams
There could be a lot of teams in the market for Ford due to all the bad offensive lines in the NFL that need to add more talent at offensive tackle. Most of the teams that took quarterbacks in the first round last year could use a young left tackle to protect their quarterbacks.
The Bucs need to improve their offensive line, and if they move down, Ford could be in play for them. The Buccaneers could let the disappointing Donovan Smith leave in free agency. Even if they bring back Smith, Ford could be their target to upgrade the right tackle spot with Demar Dotson aging. If Dotson plays another year, Tampa Bay could start Ford out at guard where this a big hole as well.
Staying in the NFC South, Atlanta could use more help on the offensive line, so Ford could interest the Falcons. The Panthers need help at tackle to replace Matt Kalil and on the inside as they could use a guard to go with Trai Turner. Thus, Ford could be in play for Carolina.
Elsewhere in the middle of the first round, the Browns could consider Ford to be their left tackle to protect their young franchise quarterback. Cleveland has missed the retired Joe Thomas, and Ford could interest the Browns.
Among the playoff teams, there are a few franchises that could be good fits for Ford. Minnesota must get more talent to protect Kirk Cousins, so Ford could be of interest to the Vikings.
Jason Peters is nearing the end of his great career, and Philadelphia could take Ford to pair with Lane Johnson. Down in Houston, Bill O'Brien has failed to develop a single quality offensive lineman during his 5-year run. The Texans badly need to improve their protection for Deshaun Watson. Both Philadelphia and Houston have extra picks in the second round to help eitther move up if desired. Out west, the Rams could lose Andrew Whitworth to retirement, and that would open a big hole at left tackle.
There also could be some teams picking high in the second round that move up for Ford because there is not a lot of depth of talent for the offensive line class overall, especially at tackle. Arizona has a terrible offensive line and has to improve the blocking for Josh Rosen. If the Cardinals were to move up from their second-round pick, Ford could be in play. Ditto for the Bills if they move up from Round 2. Ford could improve the protection for their young quarterback.