The 2019 NFL Combine has come and gone, and we’ve gotten some interesting news tidbits along with it. On Monday we heard that the Falcons had officially placed the franchise tag on DT Grady Jarrett, which makes things very dicey in free agency. With that in mind, it seems like Atlanta is going to be focusing most of their efforts on the draft.
ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, who is pretty plugged in with the Falcons, dropped a lot of information on Monday. You can read his full info dump here, but a particularly noteworthy bit had to do with the Falcons’ interest in a certain OT at the Combine.
“The Falcons have a strong interest in Oklahoma offensive lineman Cody Ford (6-4, 329) and had a formal meeting with him. They love his toughness. Ford started at right tackle in 14 games last season and started at left guard for seven games in 2016 and 2017.”
Oklahoma’s Cody Ford is one of my favorite OT prospects in the 2019 draft. He’s versatile—capable of playing at either guard or tackle—and extremely physical. Falcons fans looking for the team to get bigger on the offensive line will absolutely love Ford, and it seems like Atlanta does too. Here’s how I described Ford’s skillset in my OT prospect preview:
Oklahoma’s Cody Ford has perhaps the highest upside of any offensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft, with a big frame and unbelievable athletic talent. He’s an elite run blocker that can excel in any scheme, and his size and strength make him very difficult to move in pass protection. He’s only been a full-time starter for a single year, but Ford is a quick learner and improved his technique rapidly over the 2018 season.
Ford is one of the top OTs in the class, so it’s an open question as to whether he’ll make it to pick 14 or not. Some teams apparently view him as too small to play tackle, which could cause him to fall a little. I still believe the Falcons are targeting DT Ed Oliver or one of the top EDGE players at that spot, but Ford would be a tremendous fallback option at another position of need. Adding Ford on the right side of the line would inject a lot of physicality into the run blocking, especially if he’s paired with one of the top guards in the second or third round.
What are your thoughts on the Falcons’ interest in Cody Ford? Do you think he’d be a good pick at 14 overall?