Name: Cody Ford
CONFERENCE: Big 12
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 74
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 330 lbs
Pass Protection – Unbelievable balance and agility in his sets for a man his size. Able to use 45-sets (rare) and vertical sets to defend the edge. Quick out of his stance and fluid to protect against counters. Good luck bull-rushing him. When he reaches his set points properly, it’s over. Struggles against speed rushers at times due to inefficient footwork. NFL may choose to revamp his stance, currently stands in upright 1/4 crouch at right tackle.
POA Run Blocking – Blocked consistently on an angle or on the move due to Oklahoma’s scheme and the alignments they typically faced, creating movement at the point of attack with power and hand usage. Could stand to gain a bit more ground in his first zone step, but has the desired agility and quickness for such a fit. Does a great job sealing edge defenders up the field on simple hinge blocks.
Functional Strength – Ridiculously powerful and able to create movement without abandoning technique for the most part. Exceptional rotational power to displace opponents and open up gaps. Say what you want about Big 12 opposition, but Ford physically dominated matchups on a per-game basis.
Pass Pro Footwork – Big kick slide at times, picking up his set foot and stomping it down noisily. Despite inconsistent footwork, feet are still light and agile. Must improve at reaching proper set points against all types of rushers. Gets beaten to the edge too easily by speed rushers, opening up his hips at the top of the arc to run them past the pocket. Leaves himself susceptible to getting beat inside as a result. Range is there to be special. Has some reps that are jaw-dropping, making him easily worth developing at tackle.
Strike Timing/Placement – For the most part patient and decisive with his strikes in pass protection. If he gets his paws on you, it’s typically over. Looks to finish when he lands a good strike, overwhelming his opponent and discouraging their future endeavors as pass rushers. Has improved during the season at not reaching in his strikes and staying flat-backed. Does a good job re-setting his hands to get a better fit. Occasionally deploys the two-handed Jeremy Parnell-punch, an aggressive but risky maneuver to pull off. Needs to keep his feet active when hands are engaged, both working in unison is a work-in-progress. Gotta attack the long arm quicker when he gets stabbed.
Leverage – Fits his hands leveraged, but doesn’t always play with low pads off the ball, not that it mattered in the Big 12. Lack of leverage will be tested more in the NFL, especially if moved inside. Does play with enough knee bend that I think the issues can be minimal. Exposes some surface area for power rushes, but anchor is so strong he usually engulfs them anyway.
Space Blocking – Not athletic for his size, just straight-up athletic. Unbelievable movement skills and flexibility to change direction and alter his path on the move. Fully capable of pulling and hitting targets in space, creating movement as he arrives. Pad level can be high on arrival and at times is overaggressive at the second level, allowing defenders to slip around him.
Competitive Toughness – Complete mauler. Tries to finish every rep by putting his opponent in the ground. Physically and mentally dominated his opponents with exceptional hustle and tenacity.
Mental Processing – There is a certain level of mental processing that can only be gained from experience, but Ford is still well ahead of the curve despite one year as a full-time starter. Picks up the majority of twists flawlessly, showing excellent awareness to devour late pressure. Can still stand to decipher his second level targets better pre-snap.
Athleticism/Size – Unbelievable athlete with an exceptional frame for the position. Very little sloppy weight, yet still massive overall with outstanding foot quickness and agility. How long are his arms? I think he’ll check that box.
BEST TRAIT – Functional Strength
WORST TRAIT – Footwork
RED FLAGS – Broken fibula suffered during sophomore year
Ford’s tape is among the best and most fun of the 2019 offensive line class, as he shows everything from high-end promise to unbelievably physical finishes. The muscle of the Oklahoma offensive line, Ford has just one year as a full-time starter under his belt, but already his mental processing and technique are pretty impressive. He’s a mauler at the point of attack, while also possessing the athleticism to get out in space and the agility in pass protection to shut down all types of rushers.
There is no question that right now his physical and athletic gifts are superior to his polish, but Ford has the traits to be a top-tier player in the NFL. He needs refinement and proper coaching, preferably at tackle first and then moving to guard if he consistently struggles on the outside. Ford’s ceiling may be higher at guard, but his value could be greater at tackle if he hits. The redshirt junior should be one of the biggest risers of the pre-draft process and has a legitimate shot to be a first round pick.
Pass Sets – Love his angular control to drive out of stance and generate width and depth simultaneously. Has really effective drive/catch in weight transfer and gets ample range. Keeps the post leg down, always capable of flipping back inside vs. interior counters.
Length/Extension –Plenty of length and has a large strike zone with his hands to punch and stun. Will be quick to transition from a stun and clamp down, likes to play chest to chest. Hand strength allows for transition through his wingspan. Will run you out of town working the edge.
Balance –A few lapses in foot spacing have created some reps ending on the ground. Natural athleticism provides control and balance on the move. Has done well to not over-extend his base, particularly late in the season.
Hand Technique –Like how well he yanks and turns defenders in tight spaces, will get leverage on steep angled blocks cleanly thanks to hand manipulation. Has potent stun punch. Hands do stay active after first contact to relocate and establish himself on the numbers.
Power at POA –Total ass kicker when asked to take defenders forward. Will wash you out of your blocks and into the trash when working with an angle. Ability to generate uneven levels at the LOS has yielded some big runs on the ground.
Football IQ –Technique is impressive across the board, shows effective fundamentals, testament to his coaching as a first year full time starter. Processes action flashing across his face well. Illustrates strong grasp of body leverage and positioning at the POA.
Functional Athleticism –Nimble footed in space and has had success as a puller and in short spaces to flip across the body of a defender and set the hook. Fluid COD skills when on the second level or working the boundary. Mirror skills are good but not great in pass pro, length is more of a weapon.
Anchor Ability –Superb levels of natural strength. Hard to envision many defenders collapsing him back into the pocket with his size, stature and functional strength. Will absorb power attempts through the contact area and have decelerated defenders once they’re into the chest.
Flexibility –Natural height creates some barriers in ability to get under the pads of defenders. That said, haven’t seen many issues in a lack of drive or forward push, so not especially noteworthy. Touts effective hinges in pass protection to not compromise his hips prematurely.
Competitive Toughness –Plays with the intent to put you in a grave. Works through the whistle well and has the demeanor you want as a blocker. Takes aggressive effort in pass protection to ensure he’s hitting someone after executing primary responsibilities.
BEST TRAIT – Pass Sets
WORST TRAIT – Pad Level
BEST FILM – Alabama (2018)
WORST FILM – UCLA (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Cody Ford is a massive tackle, one who pairs his surreal size and strength with surprisingly nimble pass sets, effective short area quickness and plenty of polish. Ford has the needed skill set to be considered for a rookie starting role. His hand usage is impressive, particularly considering how effective he is at negating rushers once he’s established his hands on the chest. Ford should be considered early on by teams running a lot of gap/power rushing concepts.