In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Sunday, Auburn defensive end Dee Ford was asked if he was better than South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
As would be expected, Ford answered in the affirmative.
“I’m better. I’m better,” Ford said.
Then, as he expanded on his answer, Ford offered something of a critique of Clowney, who had just three sacks in 2013 but is widely regarded as of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft.
“People are just looking at the fact that he’s a physical specimen,” Ford said. “It really don’t matter. Honestly, if you watch the film, you know, it’s kind of like, he plays like a blind dog in a meat market, basically.
“I play with a lot of technique. I watch a lot of film. These are the things that make you a great player, and these are the things that I do, and it shows up, know what I’m saying?
“This is all my opinion, you know what I’m saying? And you can see these things. You can see these things on film. Go watch the film. You know, it’s a lot of intangibles that you need to have to be a great player. You can’t just look at the fact that he’s a physical specimen. I think the NFL should have learned by that by now.”
Ford certainly was the more productive player in 2013, notching 12.5 sacks for Auburn. Per NFL.com, he measures at 6-foot-2 and 252 pounds, but Ford, in his interview with SiriusXM, noted that Elvis Dumervil, Robert Mathis and Von Miller are all successful pass rushers of somewhat shorter stature.
Nevertheless, Clowney — who’s three inches taller and 14 pounds heavier than Ford, per NFL.com — is very likely to be drafted earlier than Ford in May. Clowney’s sheer skill set makes it just about a cinch.
In some ways, Ford’s confidence and willingness to talk about his strengths is understandable. If he’s not going to talk himself up, who will? Also, by talking about Clowney — one of the draft’s marquee prospects — he indirectly draws some attention to his cause.
Anyways, it just so happens that linebackers and defensive ends work out Monday at the Combine, and anything Ford does at Lucas Oil Stadium will mean more to his draft stock than anything he says.
Clowney? His draft stock is pretty solid.
After all, Ford’s not the one doing the drafting.