The Cleveland Browns came into the fifth round after addressing most of their existent needs. They added University of Cincinnati running back Jerome Ford.
But, for some reason, they decided to sit at pick 156 and actually take a player. They decided to stay in-state and pick running back Jerome Ford from Cincinnati.
Ford played in the University of Cincinnati spread offense that used primarily a zone running scheme as a part of a run-pass option-based scheme. Ford was a four-star recruit out of high school who originally went to Alabama.
He has a unique combination of size (5’10 210lbs) and speed (4.46 40-yard dash). But his main asset is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. This is a guy who will present as both a run option and a receiving option out of the backfield. Ford also has the ability to use his size to break tackles. He has very little usage at the college level. So, he has a lot of tread left on the tires.
Ford looks to be a project in the 5th round. He needs to improve his vision and ability to see holes as they open up. He doesn’t have much experience in a wide-zone scheme. He tends to run upright and needs to lower his pad level.
Ford should easily supplant Demetric Felton as the fourth running back in the offense. He could serve as a third-down back should there be an injury at the running back position. He has good traits that could be developed.
This is a great pick for the Browns who are drafting to their identity as a wide zone offense that likes to throw off play-action. Ford will present another option for Head Coach Kevin Stefanski to use as a part of the offense.