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 Post subject: Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 3:02 pm 
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Location: North Carolina
Jacoby Ford
5-9/186
Clemson Senior

PROS: Has top speed and burst and able to stretch defense. Works well from the slot. Dangerous after the catch and works very well on screens. Has nice hands and will extend for the ball. Gives some effort as a blocker. Capable return that is good at making the first guy miss as a punt returner.
CONS: Undersized, and it hurts him when throws aren't on the money. Gets outmuscled in traffic. Not a factor as a blocker despite effort due to lack of size and strength. Needs to improve his route-running. Body catches too often. Dances a bit too much as a returner and will bobble some, signaling potential to muff a few.
OVERVIEW: Is a very good slot receiver that was an explosive playmaker due to his track speed. His talent for returning punts was why Spiller wasn't used there much. Only became No. 1 receiver as a senior after playing with Aaron Kelly for many years.
NFL FORECAST: I'm not sure that Ford is going to be anything more than a return specialist at the next level. Teams will love his speed and big play potential working in the slot. But he isn't a natural receiver, just really a fast guy. I think people with visions of another Wes Welker are really overestimating his receiving skills. He gets separation because his speed and burst are so good, but I think he's not going to be able to rely on that as much at the next level because teams will be more willing to jam him and better safety play. I think he can be a productive No. 3 guy and give you 30 or so catches a year, but he's not going to ever be a go-to option for a team. His true value is going to be as a return specialist. I think his skillset is much closer to Dexter Jackson than Welker, or even Mike Thomas for the Jaguars. And like Jackson, if he cannot impact on returns, then he offers limited value offensively. He can be a very good punt returner and also be able to contribute on kickoffs, although his abilities project better to punts. But I am a bit worried about his potential to muff kicks and as well as his tendency to dance too much looking for the big play, rather than settling for the nice 8-yard return. And it's concerning that as a sophomore and junior, he averaged under 10 yards per return. So I'm not ready to declare him the next Dante Hall by any means. So it wouldn't surprise me that if he's out of the league within four years simply because he isn't as good a return threat as teams were hoping, and they discover his offensive production potential is limited.
ATL FORECAST: Ford has the ability to add depth behind Douglas as a slot option. But I'm not sure he's going to be a better option than Douglas because he's not as naturally gifted a receiver and tough as Douglas is. He'd mainly be insurance in case Douglas doesn't bounce back from his knee injury. And while he can certainly add a big play element on punt returns, I'm not convinced he'd be a more reliable option than Douglas or Weems. He'd certainly be more explosive, but I'm not sure he'd be as consistently able to get 5-10 yards a clip as Weems is.
VALUE: The earliest he should go off the board is the late third to a team looking for a slot option and return specialist. But I'd be more comfortable taking him in the fourth or fifth round because I think he's more a track guy than a football player.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.5
HANDS: 2.5
AFTER CATCH: 5.0
BODY CONTROL: 2.5
RANGE: 2.5

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 Post subject: Re: Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:48 am 
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Pros: Great speed and burst. Is very effective in the open field and does a good job on screens and quick throws. Can threaten teams deep because of his straight line speed, is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball and is an effective return man.

Cons: Is undersized and is likely to be confined to the slot in the NFL. There are some players who are quicker than they are fast, but Ford is faster than he is quick. He doesn’t fly in and out of his breaks, but has great straight line speed. Will create separation because of his speed, but isn’t a very good route runner. He also body catches a lot.

Overall: Ford has potential as a slot receiver but I think he will end up being a guy used in 3 or 4 WR sets as a vertical threat, on screens and on reverses. They will want the ball in his hands, but I could see him being an undersized version of Devery Henderson. He will get looks and deep balls like Henderson did early in his career and perhaps eventually he will develop more reliable hands like Henderson has. Until then the team that drafts him will give him screens and reverses to get the ball in his hands and get him in the open field. He could also contribute as a return man in the NFL. I don’t think Ford will ever be an elite slot receiver though. He is a better athlete than he is a receiver, and despite his great speed I don’t think he will ever be a great route runner and I don’t think he will ever have above-average hands. That makes for a decent #3 or #4 option, but not much more. But a guy with his athletic ability and straight line speed will still offer value to a team even if he doesn’t run great routes. Not as much as if he did though.

Projection: 3rd-4th round: I would probably prefer to pick him in the 4th round because to me he has limited upside. But some team will probably look at his 40 time and draft him earlier than I would pick him in the 3rd round.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average,4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.5
HANDS: 2.5
AFTER CATCH: 4.5
BODY CONTROL: 3.0
RANGE: 2.5

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