From now until nan 2024 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for arsenic galore prospects arsenic possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they tin bring to an NFL franchise. These players could beryllium imaginable top-10 picks, each nan measurement down to Day 3 selections and privilege undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll beryllium profiling Texas ILB Jaylan Ford.
#41 JAYLAN FORD/ILB TEXAS – 6’3, 242 LBS. (SENIOR)
Senior Bowl Accepted Invite
– Good magnitude and assemblage type to beryllium an each down linebacker
– Solid basal tackler, wraps up well
– Good pursuit to nan ball, moreover erstwhile acold from nan play
– Great communicator connected nan field
– Solid wide diversion expertise and straight-line speed
– Runs good successful coverage, tin transportation a receiver deep
– Plays good successful abstraction successful one-on-one situations against shot carriers
– Good shot skills, pinch six interceptions and 4 forced fumbles
– Slow to admit plays, struggles against play action
– Doesn’t usage hands capable erstwhile taking connected blocks; lets blockers into his thorax which limits his functional strength
– Gets mislaid successful postulation astatine nan statement of scrimmage
– Just capable astatine moving laterally and changing direction
– Originally a 3-star enlistee coming retired of Lone Star HS successful Frisco, Texas
– 22 years old, 23 successful November
– First-team All-Big 12 action successful 2022 and ’23
– Third-team AP All-American successful 2022
– Received his first commencement arsenic a existent freshman successful nan Valero Alamo Bowl
– No notable wounded history successful precocious schoolhouse aliases college
– Majored successful connection and leadership
– Butkus Award semifinalist successful 2023
– Started 29 games successful 49 full games played
– 287 full tackles, 142 solo tackles, 27.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, six INTs, 4 passes defensed, 4 FFs
– Multi-year Academic All-Big 12, Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll
– Texas’ starring tackler (10) successful CFP Allstate Sugar Bowl against Washington
One of nan large things that stuck retired connected Ford’s portion were nan issues disconnected nan snap. He is almost ever nan past personification to move arsenic he diagnoses nan play. Inside linebackers person a reliable occupation needing to publication run-pass each play and their responsibilities tin alteration much than different positions depending connected play type. That being said, Ford is often slow to make his determination and propulsion nan trigger to adjacent connected his intended spot. In nan first play of nan clip nan discourtesy is doing a pin and propulsion tally play and it takes him that other half 2nd to diagnose earlier committing outside. He did a bully occupation opinionated up nan blocker to springiness nan moving backmost obscurity to go, but he doesn’t ever get distant pinch those slow starts disconnected nan snap.
On nan 2nd play, he is almost a afloat measurement down everybody other and by nan clip he decides wherever he wants to spell he has already been sealed disconnected by a blocker. Sometimes nan patience useful retired successful his favor, while different times it puts him down nan 8 ball.
He besides has inconsistent hands erstwhile taking connected blockers. He gives up his thorax excessively easy and uses his enarthrosis alternatively of his hands to prosecute blocks astatine times. In nan first play of this clip, Ford lowers his enarthrosis into nan artifact alternatively of engaging pinch his hands which made it an easy publication for nan moving backmost to spell nan other direction. He does show signs of effective manus usage successful nan 2nd play of nan clip, but it is inconsistent capable to beryllium a problem. Especially erstwhile compounded pinch nan slow starts to plays.
When his nonsubjective is clear, and he knows wherever he needs to get to, Ford has awesome closing speed. To beryllium an each down linebacker you person to beryllium capable to spell sideline-to-sideline to immoderate grade and he shows that successful this clip. On each of nan plays successful this clip he shows that capability. On nan 2nd play successful particular, he makes up a ton of crushed connected nan moving backmost who was good extracurricular of him connected nan flip play.
He has a bully centrifugal and pursues to nan shot pinch afloat effort, moreover erstwhile nan play appears to beryllium good retired of scope for him. On nan first play of nan clip, he sewage into nan backfield and sewage knocked disconnected equilibrium arsenic nan moving backmost took disconnected successful nan different direction. Ford continued his pursuit and ended up chasing him down for nan tackle.
Ford is simply a beardown tackler. He is fundamentally sound and wraps up good to limit immoderate yards aft contact. When it’s conscionable him and a shot carrier, he does a bully occupation closing, wrapping up, and securing tackles. His play spot really shows successful this area arsenic players are seldom capable to break his tackles.
This play really shows disconnected his play spot arsenic he absorbed nan violative linemen’s artifact and nan shot bearer lowering his enarthrosis to make nan tackle. He slipped underneath nan artifact and stopped nan scrambling backmost successful his tracks. He was capable to get debased and sorb effect from 2 group while holding his ground—impressive stuff.
His sum skills are very solid. He has bully capable straight-line velocity to transportation receivers up nan field, for illustration connected nan first play of nan clip. He stayed correct successful shape and showed fluid hips to move and tally to thief unit an incompletion. He besides sees nan section good while covering. On nan 2nd play of nan clip, he runs his receiver retired to nan level while keeping his eyes connected nan quarterback. As soon arsenic he saw nan backmost upwind up to throw, he closed connected nan resistance way and delivered a large deed to unit an incompletion.
Overall, Ford has galore of nan devices basal to beryllium a successful three-down linebacker successful nan NFL. His magnitude and wide framework are perfect for nan position and his diversion expertise is coagulated capable to move sideline-to-sideline and excel successful coverage. Some of his affirmative traits are being hampered by play nickname issues and inconsistent manus usage, which will beryllium nan cardinal to unlocking his potential. He projects to beryllium a coagulated NFL starter aft a twelvemonth aliases 2 of development.
Projection: Late Day Two
Depot Draft Grade: 7.6 – Potential Starter/Good Backup (3rd round)
Games Watched: vs Oklahoma (2022), vs Kansas (2023), astatine Alabama (2023), astatine Iowa State (2023)