Isaiah Ford stands at 6’2 190 lbs and is a 20-year-old junior who has declared for the 2017 NFL Draft. Ford is statistically the best wide receiver to ever come out of Virginia Tech. He is the only player in ACC history to hold school records for career receptions, yards and touchdowns. When I watched Isaiah Ford I could not help but notice how gifted he actually was.
One of the tougher adjustments rookie wide receivers have to make is getting used to man-to-man press coverage. Ford made fools of defenders who dare lined up in his face. Let’s look at some examples of this.
Ford is on the bottom of the screen. Ford is matched up with Cameron Sutton who is one of the better cornerbacks in the SEC and could be selected in the Day 2 portion of the NFL draft. What Ford does as good as most prospects in this draft is separate from press coverage. As a wide receiver, your main objective going against a pressing cornerback is to get the defensive backs feet to move on the release. On this play Ford uses a simple hesitation move that creates movement from the DB. Once you have the DBs feet moving a wide out must create separation, Ford has an incredible shake off the line that constantly gets corners off balance. Once you gain full speed you must break into the route without losing said speed. Only way Sutton would be able to defend Ford’s move is if he guesses the route. Ford is able to create around three yards of separation form the defender.
For some odd reason Tennessee continued to press Isaiah Ford. Same principals apply on this play above. Ford gets the DBs feet moving and breaks into his route at full speed. Ford drags his right foot coming into the break to help control himself. That is an advance move that you will not see many WRs in college pull off mid game.
Here is another play of Ford beating press man. He is at the top of the screen
Many people have mentioned to me that Isaiah Ford may be the best route runner in the class. I have some examples that could potentially prove that statement.
Ford runs a beautiful post route that completely turns around this defensive back. On a post route and nearly every other route you MUST sell the vertical route to get the DB backpedaling. The defensive back turns towards the sideline and anticipates to run with Ford. Once Ford sees that corner has turned to the side he wants he stems his route and executes the post route. A defensive pass interference would be called on this play.
Ford runs a post corner route and in order for this route to really be effective you have to sell the post route. He does an unbelievable job selling the post route. Ford hits the defender with a little hesitation fake which makes the corner bite on the post and frees ford on the corner route.
Here is another play that showcases Ford’s stutter and stop on a dime ability. He does not waste any motion when running routes.
To go with all of this, Ford also possess an incredible pair of hands that helped him grab 210 receptions in three seasons. The play below is the best catch I found from Ford when watching him. I do not think I need any words to describe this play. Just take a look and mesmerize in the athletic ability it took to make this unbelievable catch.
This catch below is also as impressive as the play above. Ford was draped with two defenders around him and was able to high point the football. High pointing a football is a necessity in the NFL because if you do not, that pass will get intercepted or end up incomplete. Jerod Evans threw Isaiah Ford a bunch of jump balls throughout the season because Evans knew Ford’s ability to come down and get it the football.
Not only is he a technician running routes but he also has an impressive pair of hands
Here is another play showing off Ford’s ability to go up and make plays.
When watching Ford, I was stunned to at his yards after catch ability. He has solid vision in the open field and runs with a suddenness that makes defenders miss in the open field. Ford could make a living in the NFL on taking simple plays to the house.
Getting him in the open field will be something an offensive coordinator must do because he is special with the ball in his hands. He can take simple plays a long way. This was one of the few designed screen passes I saw Tech run with Ford. Under Fuente this year they ran a lot quick screens to Ford but nothing designed like this.
He also should run a 4.4 at the combine which will only help his value.
This play showcases his ability to make defenders miss in the open field. He nearly took on six Clemson players on this play. With the ball in his hands the guy is as dangerous as it gets.
Isaiah Ford is one of my favorite players in this class and I believe he will skyrocket up draft boards once the draft rolls by. You’ll see him slotted in the early day two portion of the draft but if I am a playoff team that needs a playmaker, this is your guy.