Poona Ford had the second highest grade for a Seahawks defensive lineman in preseason game 2. Seattle may have found a gem in the 2018 draft.
Let’s be honest, Poona Ford should have been drafted in 2018. But he wasn’t. And the Seahawks will be the lucky team that got to sign him as an undrafted free agent.
Ford didn’t have the size that NFL team’s love for defensive linemen coming into the draft. He is just five-foot-eleven and he weighs 300 pounds. But the former University of Texas Longhorn and 2017 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year has man-strength.
Ford eats up blocks and this is why he will never have huge statistics. And he isn’t supposed to. Ford is a defensive tackle and the more tackles he gets in Seattle’s scheme is a bad thing. Sure, Ford should make tackles at the line but the way the Seahawks defense is currently set up is for the interior lineman to hold their man while linebackers come in to clean up.
Enter Ford. This is exactly his specialty and what he did really well in preseason game two against the Los Angeles Chargers. Ford had three tackles, albeit mostly against backups.
Ford, though, will not beat out Nazair Jones or Jarran Reed at the tackle position. Reed and Jones will start. Ford is battling for the fourth spot in the rotation currently as Seattle will probably only keep four defensive tackles. Veteran Tom Johnson can supply interior rush, so he is likely to make the team.
And lack of real pass rush ability is what may keep Ford off the active roster for the Seahawks. Seattle is lacking depth and proven productivity in getting to the quarterback at defensive end so the tackles will need to help get sacks. Quinton Jefferson can play end or tackle and because of his versatility and pass rushing talent, he is likely to beat out Ford.
But this doesn’t mean Ford won’t be with Seattle for several years. He will probably fall on the practice squad in 2018 but could work his way into the rotation in 2019. Seattle will always need guys who can stop the run and Ford can definitely do that.