As the college football season barrels toward, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Jaylan Ford.
- 2024 NFL Draft Guide
- 2024 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch: QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | iOL | DL | EDGE | LB | S | CB
- 2024 NFL Mock Draft: First Round Picks & Predictions
2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jamon Dumas-Johnson
Jaylan Ford (LB – Texas)
6’3″ – 242 lbs.
Three-star recruit and Texas native who played a 100 snaps as a true freshman, finishing with 14 tackles. Then saw his role expand to 369 snaps and three starts the following year (53 tackles, six for loss). Stepped into the starting lineup and had a highly productive year of 119-10.0-2.0 in 2022, intercepting four passes and forcing three fumbles. Has had a relatively similar senior year as of the time of writing.
Well-built linebacker who has been highly productive over the past three years. A high-motor player with the athleticism to work sideline to sideline; can play both the Will and Mike positions. Reads keys quickly and has some explosive traits when playing downhill. Has shown that he’s able to work behind three-man lines. Attacks blocks aggressively with good extension and adequate functional strength. Does a nice job of using his hands to sift through traffic when playing between the tackles. Effective hit-and-wrap tackler, even in the open field; also has some thudding power to help set the tone. Shows impressive range and lateral quickness in zone; has good balance and loose hips. Able to shade over slot receivers. Sniffs out screens and swings quickly, often asked to carry backs into the flats. Effective spy on passing downs who can close fast when he finds a lane.
Instincts are a work in progress. Gets lured into taking false steps a bit too often; will need to improve his patience when diagnosing to avoid getting caught out of position at the next level. Can turn his shoulders to the line at times and get knocked off of his spot. Has a tendency to overpursue in the run game. Better athleticism than instincts in zone at this point. Could use his hands more consistently to re-route.
May not be quite the finished product his statistics would indicate, but has a lot of appealing traits, namely his size, athleticism, power and motor, which could eventually make him a starter at the next level. If he plays with more patience and continues to develop his instincts, could provide teams with a scheme-versatile, physical and rangy run defender who can execute various coverage assignments as well. Consequently, looks like he could end up being among the first handful of linebackers off the board, probably in the middle rounds of the draft.
Projection: Round 5