INDIANAPOLIS --Just one day after declaring himself a better pass rusher than Jadeveon Clowney and thus setting up an interesting battle between the two at the NFL Scouting Combine, Auburn defensive end Dee Ford has withdrawn from workouts.
Ford told NFL Network's Steve Wyche that he was advised by combine officials not to participate after medical exams revealed a medical problem stemming from a 2011 surgery Ford underwent for a herniated disc in his lower back. NFL Network's Kimberly Jones later interviewed Ford during workouts.
"I feel fine. Everything is fine. It's what they call a medical precaution that they wanted to go through, and they don't want to risk anything here," Ford said. "So I had the medical exclusion. It's very unfortunate. I'm very disappointed. I came to really compete in this combine but, you know, it's all good. I'm still going to stay here and support my peers."
Ford (6-foot-2, 250 pounds) was scheduled to participate with other defensive linemen in the first group of defensive players to work out Monday morning. He was dressed and with his Group 7 teammates.
Auburn's annual pro day, where top prospects perform in combine drills on their own campuses, is scheduled for March 4, a little more than a week away. Ford said he intends to participate in all drills for NFL coaches and scouts at that time.
Clowney is considered the draft's top pass rusher and is expected to be drafted early in the first round. Ford said Sunday that he was tired of hearing about Clowney's impressive physical measurables, noting that he had better technique than the former South Carolina star. There appeared to be no hard feelings between Ford and Clowney, as they were shown on NFL Network joking around during Monday's workouts.
Ford also said he believes Clowney and Missouri's Kony Ealy are his only "competition" in the draft among pass rushers.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.