Paris Ford 2021 NFL Draft Overview
Weight: 197 pounds
After a successful college career with Pittsburgh, safety Paris Ford is hoping to take his game to the next level in the 2021 NFL Draft. The safety is coming off yet another solid season, playing in 427 snaps while recording 35 tackles, seven assists, and only five missed tackles. This represents a massive improvement in his game, as he struggled with missed tackles during his Sophomore season.
Ford initially entered the college football ranks as a four-star recruit. Initially playing cornerback, Ford finished 2018 by recording five tackles on 120 snaps. Due to his physical play style, Ford transitioned to safety the following year. The change did him well, as he finished the year with 73 tackles and 16 assists. The only major flaw in his game was the 21 missed tackles.
Paris Ford 2021 NFL Draft Profile
- Fearless player that loves to lay down the boom;
- Solid coverage skills – used to be a cornerback;
- Seemingly fixed tackling mechanics, although this could be a one-year outlier;
- Good anticipation with above-average instincts;
- Takes good angles in run support and always delivers a hard hit;
- Relative inexperience at the position means that there is still room for him to grow;
- Profiles as a guy that would excel as a NFL gunner.
- Smaller build could be a major issue with his style of play;
- Blind trust in instincts can be a double-edged sword – good quarterbacks can manipulate him;
- Can abandon coverage responsibilities to go for the big play;
- Not a deep safety – NFL players would exploit his hips and average speed for major plays;
- Can be caught “cheating” looking into the backfield.
NFL Comparison: Tavon Wilson
Teams With Need at Position: New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints
Projection: 6th/7th Round
Bottom Line on Paris Ford
Paris Ford is very fun to watch, but it’s hard to see him having too much of a future in the NFL. Some of the traits are there, as absolutely will question his heart and desire to play the game of football. Ford plays with the type of reckless abandon you just love to see, fearlessly charging into gaps and delivering hits with everything he has. That aggressiveness isn’t isolated to the run game, as he also trusts his instincts and makes great breaks on the ball. Missed tackles were a major problem in 2019, but he appeared to fix that in 2020. This implies that he’s a coachable player, which is always a good thing.
However, that’s about where the positives end. Ford is much smaller than your typical NFL safety, yet he plays like a linebacker. Additionally, his aggressiveness can be a double-edged sword, as smart quarterbacks are able to bait him into attacking the wrong read and abandoning his own zone. This didn’t happen all that often in college, but NFL quarterback should be able to exploit this flaw in his game.
Ford’s best chance of sticking around the NFL comes on special teams. He’s not the fastest player in the world, but he’s fast enough to make it as a solid gunner. If nothing else, he definitely has the attitude and aggression to succeed in that role.
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