Jacoby Ford – Clemson
Scout: David Syvertsen
Height/Weight: 5’9 – 186
40 Time: 4.28
Pro Potential: Santana Moss – Washington Redskins
Acceleration/Burst/Quickness: Top tier rate of acceleration. One of the fastest players in the country because of his initial burst off the line. Remains balanced throughout and can explode off any point.
Agility/Leaping Ability: Does not get up and reach the ball at the apex of his leap. Struggles to time his jumps well. Runs low to the ground, which allows him to shift and bounce while keeping his balance. Flexible from the waist on down.
Blocking: Does not always give top effort as a blocker. I’ve seen him make zero effort to slow down a linebacker in space. At his size he may not be much of a factor, but the effort needs to at least be there.
Body Control/Adjustment: Not a natural adjuster to the ball downfield. Stays on his feet but once his eye level changes, he becomes erratic and loses track of the ball. Does not reach back for the ball with efficiency, will not come down with a lot of passes above his head.
Concentration/Hands: When the ball is placed where it should be, Ford looks very comfortable and natural. However he lets the ball in to his body at times and tries to trap it. I’ve seen too many nicely thrown passes bounce off his numbers.
Release: Very difficult to jam at the line because of his ability to stay low and remain shifty. Gives the cornerback a very small area to pounce on and if that initial hit is not completely on, Ford’s quickness will get him that initial separation with ease.
Route Running: Really improved his routes in 2009. Can cut on a dime, gets in and out of breaks with balance and speed. Runs the deep-double routes effectively. Baits defensive backs with head and body fakes. Has picked up on the weaknesses of zone coverage by finding the holes, smart player.
Size/Length/Hand Size: At under 5’10, Ford will be fighting an uphill battle from the start. He is not one of those smaller guys that can play big, but he can play comfortably within his role. Has some muscle to his frame, more power than one would think.
Speed: One of the fastest players in this draft class. National champion track star that possesses the speed that carries over on to the football field.
Vision/Run After the Catch: Has been used on reverses and screens numerous times. Does well blockers in front of him, can find the small windows and explode through them. 58 career rushing attempts. Does not break a lot of tackles but has been willing to run with power towards the end of plays for that extra yard or two.
Final Word: Jacoby Ford timed faster than any player at the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine and unlike so other speed demons, he can actually perform on the field. His speed can be used downfield, but Ford is mainly an underneath target that teams will want to use in the slot. He averaged 13.4 yards per reception over the past two seasons, which is a low number for such a speed threat. He may not be the every down receiver some thought he could be a few years ago, but his ability to initiate and maintain separation will be coveted by most teams in April. He is also a weapon with the ball in his hands whether he is returning punts and kicks or getting it on reverses and screens. His role may be limited at the next level, but the sub 4.3 speed combined with his football ability can make him an immediate impact player. Since breaking his ankle in 2007, Ford has not missed a single game despite playing through sternum and rib injuries. He is expected to be taken somewhere in the 3rd round but that sub 4.3 speed can vault him in to the 2nd.