The NFL is the ultimate dream for thousands of football players across the country, but only a small percentage of dreamers make it to the top. Most of the talent in the NFL comes from big programs in power conferences, so players from smaller schools who are not on national television every week don’t get much exposure, relatively speaking. These players, these dreamers, have to grind to get their names out there. From time to time, Cover 1 receives film from those players. Much like many of the other prospects in the draft, we want to break down these players’ film. With that being said, let’s examine defensive back Jordan Ford from Campbell University in today’s Cover 1 Spotlight.
Weight: 200 lbs
School: Campbell University
Position: Defensive Back
Best traits: Size, Ball Skills, Fluid Hips, Play Recognition
Under the Spotlight Questionnaire
If you could play a position on the other side of the ball, what would it be and why?
“The other position I would play is WR. I used to play it in high school and like having the ball in my hands.”
Who is the best player you have faced in college and why?
“Best player I’ve faced was Devin Funchess. Big raw natural talent and he is a great athlete.”
What skills that you possess will transition to the next level?
“The way I prepare for each game, my zone coverage and ability to play man coverage on and off.”
What skill have you improved on the most since you entered college and how did you improve that skill?
“I think I have improved on my knowledge of the game as far as splits and learning what teams like to do on certain down and distance. That took a lot of film work and sitting down with my coaches to help me become a better player. As well as my press man technique. My DB coach always stress being a technician and perfecting your craft. So I worked on it a lot. ”
Are you willing to play in other leagues besides the NFL?
“I am willing to play in the CFL as well as the NFL.”
Defensive back Jordan Ford used his size to his advantage during his time playing college football. Starting all ten games his senior year at Campbell University, Ford recorded 9 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups. Previously, Ford spent two seasons at Appalachian State, during which he saw action in 11 games. He recorded a handful of tackles, as well as a fumble recovery. Ford’s first two years of college were spent at Monroe College, a JuCo in New Rochelle, New York. While at Monroe College, he registered 24 tackles, 8 pass breakups, an interception, and one tackle for a loss.
Let’s go into the film room and break down some of Jordan Ford’s finest plays.
Cover 1 Film Room
On this play, Ford is lined up as the field side corner of a 3×1 set. Campbell’s 3×1 check appears to be a combo coverage; man coverage on the backside and pattern matching on the front side.
On the snap of the football, Ford slow plays the wide receiver’s route. He’s able to keep his eyes on the quarterback, while also keeping the necessary distance between himself and the receiver. This allows him the ability to break down and attack an underneath route, while also allowing him to turn his hips and run with a receiver on a deep route.
Ford realizes the receiver is running a fade route down the sideline. He completes a zone-turn by flipping his hips toward the field. This allows him to keep eye contact with the quarterback, while continuing to run side by side with the wide receiver.
By keeping his eyes on the quarterback, Ford is able to track the football down the field. Ford pinpoints the football at its highest point and shows great ball skills, coming down with the interception.
As well as Ford covered the deep ball in zone coverage, he can also do just the same in man.
On this play, the Campbell University defense lines up in press-man with a single-high free safety. Ford is shaded inside the receiver, taking away the slant and an inside release.
On the snap of the football, the wide receiver takes an outside release. Ford closes the cushion and gets into the hip pocket of the receiver.
Ford shows good transition skills and a strong burst in order to stay in the hip pocket of the receiver.
While running down the field, Ford leans into the receiver to keep proper leverage. As the wide receiver looks up, Ford does, too.
Ford tracks the football well and makes a play at the catch point. The result is an impressive pass break up.
On this play, Ford shows off his ability to play press-man coverage on the goal line.
He plays an inside shade on the receiver on the top of the screen. This takes away the quick slant that is seen so often on the goal line.
On the snap, the wide receiver stems his route to the outside, potentially selling a fade route. The receiver then breaks his route inside on a slant. Ford shows great foot mobility and fluid hips, staying stride for stride with the receiver.
The quarterback elects to throw the football to the receiver Ford is covering. He does a good job by throwing the football low and away, attempting to give only his receiver a chance to make a play on the ball. However, Ford does an even better job attacking the football under neath the receiver and making a play at the catch point with his left hand.
Jordan Ford has intangibles that every NFL scout will love. His size, mobility, and hip fluidity will make him a true asset to any defensive backfield. He plays best in off-coverage, but he has the potential to be proficient in man coverage when asked to. Ford is a capable tackler, but he may need to be more aggressive at the next level to be a threat to opposing offenses. Being that he plays best in zone coverage and does a very good job at diagnosing plays, it would not come as a surprise if Ford ends up playing safety at the next level. If you’d like to see more of Ford, check out his highlights below.