2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Paris Ford

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Paris Ford

by April 24, 2021 0 comments

A few weeks ago, Paris Ford was getting serious draft hype. After a poor performance at his pro day, his stock has diminished. Ford is a safety who ran a 4.91 40-yard dash, which has killed his big incline on draft boards. Measurements are not everything, however, and Ford could provide some big value for a team in need of safety help.

Player Bio

Name: Paris Ford

Jersey: #12

Position: Safety

School: Pittsburgh

Class: Redshirt Junior

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 190 lbs

Coverage (8/10)

Ford brings really nice coverage ability to the table, but is also inconsistent. He’s proved that he can play well on the boundary as well as a single-high safety. Ford has shown that he can be very effective in man coverage all over the field. He’s made several shutdowns plays in the short areas of the field, especially on the outside. In zone coverage, he’s a bit worse. He seems to just float out of his zone at times which can lead to a big play for the opposition. He’ll need to get better in this area to succeed in the NFL.

Instincts (8.5/10)

Ford is quick to move his feet but can be a little indecisive at times. Overall, his instincts are a pretty nice part of his game. When he makes the right decision, he flies to the play and tries to get involved as best he can. This is a very promising ability for Ford and should translate very well, especially if his athletic testing measurements hold up in the NFL.

Tackling (8/10)

Ford is an inconsistent tackler. On one end, he’s made some really big hits that have got his entire team going. On the other, he’s prone to some whiffs. For the most part, however, he’s a very strong tackler who is not afraid to wrap up the more physical ball carriers. Something he does nicely is not just throwing his body into the play and hoping for the best. This has been a bit of a common theme with defensive backs in this draft, so it’s good that Ford doesn’t do this. If he can start to clean up the whiffs, he can be a very good tackler at the next level.

Athleticism (8/10)

This one is really hard to judge. The 40 time is incredibly scary, but Ford doesn’t really play anything like it on the field. He’s quick to close in on defenders and shows great athleticism in his range and ability to fly to the ball. When he was taken on deep routes, he showed no signs of weakness in keeping up with presumably faster wide receivers. He’s no superstar athlete, but the 40 time really makes no sense in regards to how he plays on the field.

Range (8.75/10)

Ford possesses really nice range. This is another testament to how skewed this 40 time may be. He can fly all around the field and attack the ball carrier. He can take some bad angles when coming in too fast but it’s something he can fix pretty easily. When coming down on the field, instead of side-to-side, he can be deadly. The acceleration he can get is super impressive and looks like a guy who ran a 4.35 40 time.

Run Defense (8.5/10)

Ford uses his great range to be very good against the run. While he has been a bit indecisive at times, the talent and ability to get downhill are very impressive. As mentioned in his tackling, he’s not afraid to take a hit from bigger guys and will even eat up some blocks when needed. Ford has a lot of potential in this area, even for a guy with a bit of a slender frame.

Ball Skills (7.5/10)

Ford has shown some inconsistent ball skills. He’s demonstrated great skill in getting his hands on the ball in tight-man coverage in the short and intermediate areas. In deeper positions on the field, he’s a bit too on and off and needs to tighten up here. He does fly to the ball but has not gotten his hands on many.

Versatility (8/10)

NFL teams will be drawn to Ford’s versatility. While he’s not the most versatile safety in this class, he’s certainly had his fair share of different alignments. He’s lined up on the boundary and at both two-high and single-high safety. Ford has been aligned in the box at times, but not nearly as much as his other positions. There should be a wide enough variety on his film to intrigue teams.

Football IQ (7.5/10)

Ford’s IQ problems mostly come as a single-high safety. Because of this, it may not be the proper place to put him in the NFL. Otherwise, he’s a pretty smart football player. There are no real issues besides some indecisiveness on which angles to take in the run game. It’s not the best IQ in the world, but Ford can get it done. 

Competitive Toughness (4.5/5)

Ford brings a ton of effort and energy to his game. He’s very comfortable with getting physical in any aspect and has demonstrated that he can rally his guys. He seems to be a leader on the defense as he’s constantly talking to his teammates about one thing or the other. 

Injury History (5/5)

Ford seems to have no injury concerns on record. 

Player Summary 

Ford is a true jack of all trades player. There’s nothing that really stands out completely, but nothing is bad at all. This is one of the first times this draft cycle where we’ve seen a player lose stock in such a big way because of his 40 times, and it’s not really something that should be happening. Ford will be a talented day two pickup for any team looking to set up the future at the safety position. 

Player Grade (82.25/100): Late-second round


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