Andrew Berry says he approaches the NFL Draft as if he is building a brand new expansion team.
So if the Cleveland Browns didn’t already have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, who would the GM select?
We might have the answer after Cincinnati’s Jerome Ford became the 156th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) April 30, 2022
Pro Football Network says of the 5’11’ 209-pounder,
“Ford is athletically impressive. He possesses quick feet and fluid hips. Ford has excellent change-of-direction ability. He is quick, explosive, and possesses impressive burst—cutting with no discernible drop-off in speed.”
Ford sounds like a typical Cleveland Browns running back.
In fact, PFN says his most comparable pro comparison is Kareem Hunt.
Here are 3 things to know about the new Browns running back Jerome Ford.
1. Ford Wasn’t Always a Bearcat
James Ford joins his former Cincinnati teammate and blocker James Hudson in Cleveland.
But Ford wasn’t always a Bearcat.
The newest Browns player was a four-star recruit out of Armwood (Fl) High School.
#Browns RB Jerome Ford in 2021 (PFF):
• 19 TDs
• 89.4 rushing grade
• 52 missed tackles forced
• 32 explosive runs
• 3.07 yards after contact per attempt
— Cody Suek (@CodySuek) April 30, 2022
As the 6th-ranked all-around running back, he had a choice of major colleges to attend.
And he chose the Alabama Crimson Tide over Nebraska, Arizona, USF, and USC.
But after a couple of seasons sitting behind teammate Najee Harris, Ford moved on to help Cincinnati.
2. First Start Was a Big One
Ford still played second fiddle for a while behind senior running back, Gerrid Doaks.
Miami drafted Doaks in the 7th round last season after he sat out the Peach Bowl in anticipation of the moment.
That was Ford’s first chance to start a college football game as a running back.
— Justin Williams (@Williams_Justin) December 21, 2020
Cincinnati only ran him 8 times, but he made the most of it with 97 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown scamper.
But it’s not like the Peach Bowl was his first chance to shine in his first season at Cincinnati.
Ford picked up 483 yards at a 6.6-yard-per-carry clip with 6 touchdowns- 4 of them from 20+ yards out.
3. Big Game To End Collegiate Career
Cincinnati had a school record of 7 players drafted through the first 5 rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft.
So there was some talent around Ford to be sure.
But his 1309 rushing yards, 20 total touchdowns, and a trio of 70-yard runs earned him plenty of accolades.
Jerome Ford will take the field in the Cotton Bowl, against his former team, @AlabamaFTBL, and he wants everyone to stop calling him 'the Alabama transfer.'
More: https://t.co/YnUUJeOzRD pic.twitter.com/7981LjEuUQ
— TideSports.com (@TideSports) December 28, 2021
It also helped earn the Bearcats a berth in the 2022 Goodyear Cotton Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Many players hoping to get drafted sit out their college bowl game, but that wasn’t an option for Ford.
The Tide rolled over the Bearcats, 27-6, but Ford ran for 5 yards a carry against his former teammates.