PRO 2017 Dynasty Rookie Spotlight: Isaiah Ford, WR Virginia Tech

Isaiah Ford, WR Virginia Tech
height: 6’1″ (unofficial)
weight: 195 (unofficial)
40 time (projected): 4.52

NFL Comparison: Marqise Lee

– all-time leader at Virginia Tech in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns — pretty amazing for a guy who was only in college for three seasons

– epitome of consistency: he had a catch in every game he played since getting to Blacksburg

– can let the ball get into his body; doesn’t seem to possess a natural instinct to attack the football with his hands away from his body 100% of the time that you like to see; with this said, he shows on numerous occasions through games that he is capable of making VERY athletic/acrobatic catches away from his body LIKE THIS

– lack of hand-strength/size(?) to come down with the football is shown on occasion during contested catches and jump-balls

– excellent, borderline-elite footwork and stemming off the line of scrimmage and in space into his cuts; excellent, natural route-runner who is capable of creating separation not only with physical gifts but also through precision in his footwork, cuts and steps

– above-average effort as downfield-blocker — especially for a guy hi size; stays on his blocks and doesn’t just go through the motions like so many other receivers

– not a track-speed burner by any means, and not necessarily long, big or beastly either — probably only 6’1″ or so — but has an uncanny ability to create/see spaces, nooks and crannies to settle into and underneath zones to give his QB high-percentages windows to deliver the football

– although he doesn’t drip with natural athleticism as mentioned, he’ll always surprise you with the football in his hands as a ballcarrier; the Hokies used Ford in all sorts of ways — end-arounds, sweeps, quick screens, etc. — and he’s clearly shown quite capable of making monster home-run plays against good teams with fast DBs on good pursuit angles

– skinny with a thin frame; there could be some concern that he’s sort of “maxed out” at right around 200 pounds; reminds you so much of a Marqise Lee because he’s so effective and efficient at the college level while being so skinny and lacking any truly elite physical characteristics; he’s truly a ball-player, not a ridiculous athlete trying to be one

– projecting his NFL upside requires the evaluator to decide if he was the beneficiary of volume in college and also whether or not the same separation and technical-footwork tricks coupled with elite spacial understanding and vision to get open will be effective against NFL DBs; certainly a player who has a lot to gain at the scouting combine if he can turn in some solid explosive measurables

– in all, he’s a terrific football player and a record-setting one who shows elite traits in areas not as obviously conducive to NFL success as pure size and speed; his smooth route-running, elite change-of-direction out of breaks, ability to get open and knack for making plays are certainly all important, though

– for dynasty, Ford’s landing spot and NFL situation will be even more critical to gauge in a player like Ford than others because projecting his exact role will be easier given what he brings to the table physically; for the time being, we are comfortable using a third-round pick or later on Ford in traditional rookie-draft formats with room to move up or down from there based on combine performance and of course NFL landing spot

FROM THE VIRGINIA TECH ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT

High School: Played for Coach Verlon Dorminey at Trinity Catholic … A first-team Class 3A all-state selection as a wide receiver his senior season … Named first-team All-First Coast by The Jacksonville Times-Union after his senior season … Had 717 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns as a senior … Also rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns and passed for a touchdown … A member of the Times-Union Super 24 Team … Rated as the No. 54 player in the state of Florida by the Orlando Sentinel … Listed as the No. 67 wide receiver in the nation and the No. 68 prospect in Florida by Rivals … Ranked as the No. 196 player in the country, the No. 30 wide receiver in the country and the No. 25 player in his state by 247Sports … Also played basketball, averaging 37 points per game as a senior … Scored 59 points in one game … Was named first-team All-First Coast and scored over 1,500 career points.

Personal:
Isaiah Alexander Ford … Born Feb. 9, 1996 in Jacksonville, Fla. … Son of Aaron Ford and Jocelyn Grissett … Has two older siblings: Delvron and Jamell … Majoring in human development.

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