After the Chiefs selected pass rusher Dee Ford in round one, owner Clark Hunt came dangerously close to comparing Ford to the late Derrick Thomas.
Ford has opted for a more direct reference. With Ford’s college number 30 unavailable at the next level due to the league’s jersey rules, Ford went another way, opting for 55.
“This is Derrick Thomas’ college number,” Ford said. “It’s all good. I’m not trying to be Derrick Thomas, but he’s a guy that definitely inspired me. The opportunity presented itself, so I took it.”
Ford played at Auburn, which could cause his decision to pay homage to a former Alabama player raise some eyebrows locally. Ford and the Chiefs are more concerned about his ability to raise eyebrows in the NFL.
“[H]e did a nice job today,” coach Andy Reid told reporters. “You get to see how explosive he is and again, we’re not in pads here. But, he did a good job.”
Not good enough for Ford, yet.
“I give it a C,” he said. “There is always room for improvement. I don’t want to feel like I’ve arrived. I want to stay grounded and just learn. You can never learn too much. You always have to stay at the C.”
If he can do what the Chiefs hope he can do, he’ll soon be wearing the C, right above his new number 55.