After a record year of getting mauled, it’s no secret Aaron Rodgers needs to be protected, and the Packers current offensive line didn’t do the job last year, and they won’t do it this year. Even with the signing of Billy Turner, who is average, the Packers are in serious need of new offensive linemen, especially with the constant injuries of some and the others not being at starter level. Someone who could be an instant starter and has the ceiling NFL teams dream over is Oklahoma’s Cody Ford.
Ford has tremendous upside thanks to his combination of physical and athletic gifts. At 6’4” and 329 Ibs., Ford was a stud at Oklahoma as Kyler Murray’s left tackle, his first year playing the position, claiming first-team All-Big 12 and third-team AP All-American honors. Ford is naturally a better guard, as he played as one his first two years, but due to departures and injuries, Ford was asked to play tackle, lost 15 Ibs. and played tackle. He has an excellent initial pop on contact with defenders, sending them off balance, he has the power and more to open gaps, and his downfield speed is unreal. For plugging someone in your team’s offensive line right away, he’s the right fit, and his potential is “can’t miss”.
Even though Ford’s stock’s been rising, he still has areas he can improve on. In his games against more upper-echelon defensive lineman, particularly Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, he struggled. His footwork is an area for improvement, as he tends to step far out in pass protection rather than back, which makes it vulnerable to an inside rush. He also has mediocre balance for someone who is as big and athletic as he is, since he gets his feet too wide.
When Will He Be Drafted
Originally a late first to early second round prospect, his stock has sky rocketed since the combine. Many scouts and analysts have him going in the late-teens to early twenties range. Since the Packers pick at 12, as of right now, picking him then would be a small stretch, and the Packers are certainly no strangers to picking guys they see having a high ceiling earlier than expected. They could also trade down from their 12th pick or trade up packaging their late first and another later pick to get him. Draft day trades are also a thing the Green Bay Packers does a lot.
How He Will Fit in Green Bay
Ford can be an immediate starter in the NFL, especially on that Packers offensive line. He is more of a natural fit at guard which would make him perfect for the right-guard, McCray/Bell spot. If he stays healthy, he can move to Bulaga’s spot at right-tackle after his inevitable retirement, and Rodgers will have solid protection from both tackle positions for years to come.