INDIANAPOLIS -- Dee Ford took aim at Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday, and minced no words in trying to establish himself as the top pass rusher in the NFL draft. Comparing Clowney's reckless style of play to "a blind dog in a meat market," the 6-foot-2, 250-pound pass rusher who was the star of the Senior Bowl didn't back off a bit.
"I'm better (than Clowney). Let's put it like this. People like to talk about size all the time. Size is pretty much overrated in my eyes," Ford said on Sirius XM NFL Radio Sunday. "You can look at guys like Robert Mathis, Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller. These are 6-2 guys and under. People are just looking at the fact that he's a physical specimen. Honestly if you watch the film, he plays like a blind dog in a meat market, basically."
Ford racked up 10.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and 17 quarterback hurries at Auburn last season, despite missing the team's first two games due to a knee injury that hampered him throughout the season. Ford said he sees Clowney and Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy as his only competition in the draft among pass rushers, and doesn't see why he's not expected to be chosen ahead of the South Carolina star who may be the first overall pick of the Houston Texans.
Ford also took a jab at the NFL and its personnel executives who he believes value physical measurables too highly.
"I play with a lot of technique, I watch a lot of film, these are the things that make you a great player. These are the things I do, and it shows up, rather than -- this is all my opinion -- you can see these things on film. Go watch the film," Ford said. "There are 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 that by now."
And, perhaps, Ford should have by now learned that you don't criticize the methods of the very people you are trying to impress, at their own event.
Ford won't get a chance to measure up against Clowney: He pulled out of the combine Monday morning for medical reasons.