The Buffalo Bills added a potential anchor to their offensive line on day two of the 2019 NFL Draft, selecting Oklahoma lineman Cody Ford with the 38th pick in the second round. To get Ford, the Bills traded pick No. 40 and No. 158 to Oakland for pick No. 38.
Here are five things to know about the newest Bill:
1. INCREDIBLY VERSATILE
In Ford, the Bills are getting a piece of clay, an incredibly talented mold that they can transform into anything they want.
Given his 6-foot-4, 330-pound frame and elite athleticism, Ford could realistically play at either guard or tackle at the professional level. Fortunately for Buffalo, Ford has experience has both positions.
The prospect played guard throughout his first two seasons at Oklahoma, starting seven games on the left side of the line. The Sooners shifted Ford to right tackle in 2018, and he excelled. Ford started 14 games at right tackle for Oklahoma, effectively protecting Heisman-winning quarterback Kyler Murray.
2. DECORATED PAST
Ford, a native of Pinewood, LA., was consistently recognized for his on-and-off field excellence throughout his three years at Oklahoma.
He was named to the Academic All-Big 12 second team in his sophomore season. He was a coaches’ selection to the All-Big 12 first team in his breakout junior season, also earning third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press.
Ford was also an anchor on the Oklahoma offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award, a prize that “annually recognizes the toughest, most physical offensive line in the country.”
3. A WELL-ROUNDED PROSPECT
Though Ford is still far from a finished product, he’s already solid in both pass and run protection.
Pro Football Focus gave Ford a pass blocking grade of 80.0 in each of his three seasons at Oklahoma. He allowed a quarterback pressure on just 1.6% of his snaps in 2018, per the outlet, the fourth-lowest percentage amongst all draft-eligible tackles.
Ford was also incredibly stout while protecting the run, posting a run blocking success percentage of 91.1%. According to PFF, only three other tackles were more effective while protecting the run.
4. ‘A 10-YEAR RIGHT TACKLE’
Analysts are divided on Ford’s projection - some feel as though he’ll slot in as a reliable guard in the NFL, while others feel he could be a career right tackle.
Respected draft analyst Charley Casserly is in the latter camp. The veteran pundit had a first-round grade on the prospect, stating that he could man the right side of a team’s offensive line for the next decade.
“What do I like about this young man? I think this guy has got excellent knee bend and slide ability,” Casserly said. “Good punch as far as his ability to play the right tackle position. Sometimes his hands stay too low on his pass protection, and he may have a little trouble at times with the outside rush versus the speed guys. I still think he’s a solid right tackle.
“Against the run, you don’t see any drive blocking, but that’s basically from a lot of college players. But you do see him sustain very well as far as a run blocker goes. He can get into the second level, he can get up on the linebacker and sustain there, and I like his ability to pull. I think this guy . . . is going to be a 10-year player at right tackle.
5. ‘A PERFECT PROSPECT’ FOR THE BILLS
Before the 2019 Scouting Combine, Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling identified the perfect combine prospect for each NFL team.
A full two months before Ford received that highly-anticipated phone call from Buffalo’s front office, Roling looked at the two sides as a match made in heaven.
Roling picked Ford as Buffalo’s “perfect prospect,” a stout lineman who will effectively protect quarterback Josh Allen for the foreseeable future.
“Forget positional distinctions in the trenches—the Bills need help across the board after their offensive line allowed 41 sacks in 2018 (14th-worst in the league),” Roling wrote. “If Ford plays on the interior, fine. The Bills should be interested in Ford's interviews and not necessarily his measurables. The tape speaks for itself in that regard.
With the 2019 NFL Draft officially underway, follow along with the Buffalo Bills to find out which players the team selects. Bills draft coverage is presented by ECMC.