Chiefs tab Auburn LB

5/9/2014

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

By TEREZ A. PAYLOR

The Kansas City Star

One pick after Johnny Manziel came off the board, the Chiefs selected Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford with 23rd overall pick in NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Ford, 6 feet 2 and 252 pounds, was a two-year starter who had 29 tackles, 14 1/2 tackles for loss and 10 1/2 sacks in 2013. He has a small frame and short arms but fits the profile of a 3-4 rush linebacker.

He missed the first two games of 2013 because of an injury and did not work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Ford, 23, also missed time because of an abdominal injury in 2012 and hurt his left MCL in the spring of 2013. He was granted a medical hardship at Auburn because of a herniated disc in his back.

* Who: Outside linebacker Dee Ford

* Pick: Round one (23rd overall)

* School: Auburn

* Height: 6-2

* Weight: 252

* 2013 stats: Finished with 10 1/2 sacks and 14 1/2 tackles for a loss as a defensive end for the national runner-up, Auburn. Ford also racked up 29 total tackles and an interception.

* Red flags: Ford won't be able to drop into coverage without getting exposed — at least not without extensive coaching — and probably isn't going to be great against the run, but he can get after the quarterback. He's athletic, but he occasionally struggles to shed blocks and has a history of injuries.

* Fun fact: Ford was a star at the Senior Bowl and also made waves when he declared that he is as good of a pass-rusher as South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who was the No. 1 overall pick by the Houston Texans. In fairness, Ford's stats are measurable — 40-yard dash time, bench press, vertical and broad jump — are comparable to Clowney's.

* Where he fits in: Ford is a workmanlike edge rusher, who played defensive end for Auburn. He's a high-motor player with a great speed rush off the edge. Ford is the ready-made successor for Tamba Hali if his cap number becomes prohibitive looking toward 2015. He also provides some much-needed depth for Hali and fellow outside linebacker Justin Houston.

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