May 8, 2014
Dee Ford is taking his defensive skills to the NFL
By Charles Goldberg
NEW YORK -- Dee Ford invited family and friends and reporters to a party back in Anniston on Thursday night because he was that confident he'd hear his name be called as a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. He was right.
The Kansas City Chiefs selected him with the 23rd overall pick, allowing the Auburn defensive end to follow teammate Greg Robinson as an Auburn first-rounder. The St. Louis Rams made Robinson the second overall pick.
Robinson was here in Radio City Music Hall. Ford, who led Auburn in sacks and tackles for a loss last season, had declined the offer to attend, choosing to share the night with as many as possible back home.
He did that.
The Chiefs shared to the moment, too. Kansas City general manager John Dorsey said he was pleased with his selection.
"I admire Ford not only as a person, but his ability to rush the passer. At the end of the day, we got the guy that we really wanted," he said.
Ford was a pass-rushing specialist at Auburn. But he could wind up as an outside linebacker for the Chiefs. Two of his most memorable plays last season happened when it mattered most, a last-second sack on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and a final-play hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray that caused a pass to fall harmlessly away. Both preserved Auburn wins. He impressed the NFL during Senior Bowl week and again at Auburn's Pro Day.
Ford said he was surprised that Kansas City called because he had not worked out for the Chiefs. He was in his usual good humor when it was done.
"I’m very personable, I’m not quiet, I do speak my mind, but I was definitely speechless," Ford said in a Kansas City Star story. "I honestly don’t even remember the words they said. I think I was passed out."
Dorsey said he liked Ford's style.
"He has a unique ability to rush the passer, and in today’s National Football League, with the way the game has increased in speed, it gives you another pass-rushing component," Dorsey said. “Everybody knows when you can rush the passer, it makes the back seven look a little bit better.”
"I’m definitely surprised it’s Kansas City, but I’m not surprised (I went in) the first round," Ford said. "I’m very ecstatic right now, definitely honored."
Here's how the Kansas City Chiefs told the world:
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: