Feb. 20, 2014
Auburn's Dee Ford did some of the heavy lifting for the Tigers in 2013 (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
Dee Ford turned heads at the Senior Bowl in January and has seen his draft stock rise ever since.
Well, he's sort of seen his draft stock rise. The departing Auburn defensive end said on the eve of the NFL Combine that he is trying to stay away from looking at his draft projections on the Internet.
He could be a second-rounder. He could be an outside linebacker in the pros. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Ford ranked as the fourth-best outside linebacker in the draft. Does that change his draft status?
"My agent and I talk about it, but other than that, I've haven't really paid attention to it," Ford said this week. "I'm just focusing on what I've got to do. If I get caught up in my draft stock rising, I'll lose focus. I'm just staying focused on the things I'm doing."
Ford is one of five Auburn players participating at the Combine in Indianapolis. The show kicked off Thursday with the appearance of offensive lineman Greg Robinson, who is entering the draft early and may be a Top 5 pick, maybe even the second overall pick. Kiper says he's the No. 1 offensive lineman. Also on hand Thursday was and punter Steven Clark. Kiper says he's the No. 1 punter. Also checking in this week from Auburn will be running back Tre Mason and defensive back Chris Davis.
Robinson checked in at the Combine today at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds.
Kiper has Mason as the seventh-best tailback. Other Auburn players ranked are Jay Prosch, as the third-best fullback; and Cody Parkey, as the No. 10 kicker.
Ford's official Combine appearance will come later. In the meantime, he said he hasn't heard from NFL teams, though his Senior Bowl MVP award will be remembered, as will be his 14.5 tackles for a loss, which included 10.5 sacks for Auburn in 2013, will be recalled. Still, Ford said "it would be nice to know" what NFL teams are thinking.
That will soon change.
Ford says he's worked out with 10, sometimes 11, other draft hopefuls. That hasn't been about blocking and tackling. It's about impressing at the Combine with speed and agility drills.
"Honestly, it's not anything that we didn't do in college," Ford said. "I did that my entire career at Auburn. It's almost like offseason."
Here's the workout schedule for the Combine:
» Saturday: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
» Sunday: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
» Monday: Defensive linemen, linebackers
» Tuesday: Defensive backs
Here's a video preview/analysis of Greg Robinson...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine