Photo of Rudy Ford
Drafted By: Cardinals

Combine Results

5.13 ?
  • 20 REPS
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Combine Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

The Cardinals lost quite a bit from their defensive backfield this offseason. Ford will be a special teamer entering the season with a chance to compete for significant reps in their subpackages. --Mark Dulgerian

  • 5'11" Height
  • 30" Arm Length
  • 205LBS. Weight
  • 8 7/8" Hands


Johnathan "Rudy" Ford was an All-Alabama running back in high school, but Auburn coaches moved him to defense in fall camp. He had a few carries as a true freshman for the Tigers (6-73, TD), but his destiny was on the other side of the line. Ford made five tackles in that first season, then jumped to a starting role at safety in 2014, topping all Tigers with 93 stops (2.5 TFL) and intercepting three passes. Coaches moved him between nickel and safety in 2015, and he again led the team with 118 tackles (3.5 TFL) while intercepting two more throws. Ford again played nickel as a senior, making fewer stops (59 tackles, 5.5 for loss) but more of a factor in coverage (seven pass breakups).



Compact frame carries some pop as a tackler. Comes downhill ready to put in work. Maintains run fits and leverages running backs to the sideline. Aggressive hitter who hits with his head up and looks to run through his target. Consistently productive tackler who is an efficient finisher. Has decent hands and can take the ball away if it is there for him. Plays safety and handled man coverage as a nickel this season. Has kick return and coverage experience on special teams.


Plays with tightness in his hips. Is slow to open and transition in coverage. Gives up too much separation out of breaks to be counted on in full-time man cover situations. Straight-liner who can be slow to sink and change directions in space as a tackler. Lacks the length to slide around open field blockers quickly. Route anticipation and instincts are just average. Production on the ball is below average.

Draft Projection

Round 6-7

Bottom Line

Ford has been a solid starter and productive tackler as a three-year starter in the SEC, but his tight hips and lack of instant acceleration could limit what teams are able to ask from him in coverage. He will likely have to add some weight and try to prove himself as a backup box safety who can make plays on special teams.
-Lance Zierlein
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster