Prospect profile: Jacoby Ford, WR, Clemson

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Jacoby Ford.

School: Clemson
NFL position: WR
Height: 5-8 3/4
Weight: 181
40 time: 4.28
Current projection: Third-round pick

Clemson WR Jacoby Ford will be one of the NFL's fastest players, but he's a small target for quarterbacks.
Clemson WR Jacoby Ford will be one of the NFL’s fastest players, but he’s a small target for quarterbacks.

Strengths: Is an explosive athlete and a threat to score on every touch. Is quick getting off the snap and into his route, accelerates to full speed in a blink and uses quickness and agility to burst out of cuts and separate from cornerbacks. Shows good hands to reach out and pluck passes away from his body. Consistently twists body to catch offtarget passes. After the catch, is a competitive runner with the balance and strength to run through arm tackles; gains a lot of yardage after contact. Works hard as a blocker.

Weaknesses: Lacks height and size, and thus is a durability risk. Lack of height makes him tough to locate downfield. Won’t be as successful breaking tackles in the NFL.

Bottom line: Ford is a big-time athlete with rare explosiveness and speed—his 4.28 40 was one of the fastest in Combine history—to be an impact slot receiver and return man. He must stay healthy to maximize his physical skills. He likely will be drafted lower than we have him rated, but on film he reminds us of the Steelers’ Mike Wallace.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Jacoby Ford.

School: Clemson
NFL position: WR
Height: 5-8 3/4
Weight: 181
40 time: 4.28
Current projection: Third-round pick

Clemson WR Jacoby Ford will be one of the NFL's fastest players, but he's a small target for quarterbacks.
Clemson WR Jacoby Ford will be one of the NFL’s fastest players, but he’s a small target for quarterbacks.

Strengths: Is an explosive athlete and a threat to score on every touch. Is quick getting off the snap and into his route, accelerates to full speed in a blink and uses quickness and agility to burst out of cuts and separate from cornerbacks. Shows good hands to reach out and pluck passes away from his body. Consistently twists body to catch offtarget passes. After the catch, is a competitive runner with the balance and strength to run through arm tackles; gains a lot of yardage after contact. Works hard as a blocker.

Weaknesses: Lacks height and size, and thus is a durability risk. Lack of height makes him tough to locate downfield. Won’t be as successful breaking tackles in the NFL.

Bottom line: Ford is a big-time athlete with rare explosiveness and speed—his 4.28 40 was one of the fastest in Combine history—to be an impact slot receiver and return man. He must stay healthy to maximize his physical skills. He likely will be drafted lower than we have him rated, but on film he reminds us of the Steelers’ Mike Wallace.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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