From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, we will scout and create profiles for as many prospects as possible, examining their strengths, weaknesses, and what they can bring to an NFL franchise. These players could be potential top-10 picks, all the way down to Day 3 selections and priority undrafted free agents. Today, I’ll be profiling Montana CB Justin Ford.
#21/6 – Justin Ford/CB Montana – 6002, 201 lbs. (Senior)
|Player||Ht/Wt||Hand Size||Arm Length||Wingspan|
|Justin Ford||6002, 201||8 5/8||31 3/4||N/A|
|40-Yard Dash||10-Yard Dash||Short Shuttle||3-Cone|
|Broad Jump||Vertical||Bench Press|
— Muscular frame and looks the part of an NFL corner
— Physical game, can jam at the LOS and disrupt timing of routes
— Supports run and shows hit power as a tackler, finishes well and throws weight around
— Times his jumps well and can play through the hands at the catch point
— Shows impressive hands and ability to make plays on the ball in coverage, plus ball skills
— Productive and made plays on the football, attacks the ball in zone coverage
— Threat to make play post-INT, averaged more than 12 yards per return
— Experience playing as field side corner and operating in space
— Lacks great length for his frame and desire to press
— Can grab too much mid-route and will be prone to penalties
— Run bad 40 and shows only average long-speed on tape, has trouble tracking down runners in open field
— Lack of speed may create transition to safety
— Gets stuck on stalk blocks in run game
— Coming from FCS level
— Appears to be an older college prospect with a long journey making multiple stops
— Two-year starter for Grizzlies
— Montana career: 74 tackles (5.5 TFL) 28 PDs, 11 INTs
— 2022: 24 tackles, 7 PDs 2 INTs
— Had 20 PDs, 9 INTs in 2021, INT total led NCAA at all levels
— Spent 2019 season at Louisville, did not play due to injury
— Spent 2017 and 2018 at Golden West Community College (California), had three picks over those two seasons
— Initially chose Louisville over Montana in 2019, connections in recruiting process helped him get there in 2020 for town’s “blue-collar mentality”
— Highly recruited out of Golden West, had 20 DI offers, initially enrolled at Kansas (was fan of the Jayhawks’ basketball team growing up and picked KU over UNLV) in 2018 before decommitting
— Wore #21 in 2021, switched to #6 in 2022
Justin Ford has seemingly been on Pittsburgh’s radar for awhile now, probably in part due to his great 2021 season, leading the NCAA at all levels with nine interceptions. Those kind of ball skills can play at any level. And they weren’t just cheap ones either. Ford has great hands and hand/eye concentration to make plays, even ones that aren’t ultimately picks. Watch this one-handed snag out of bounds in 2022. Just showcases the skills.
He’s a ballhawk who can find and high-point the football in the air. He also plays big and is a willing tackler with good hit power, explosive downhill and ability to finish.
There are questions about his speed as indicated by the slow 40 time. Maybe running at Montana in less-than-ideal weather had an impact but on tape, but you don’t love his straight-line and open-field speed. Twice against North Dakota State, he couldn’t track down runners. He may be faster than a high 4.6 guy but his speed is probably average at best.
Ford has some quality tape and the league is always looking for guys who can take the ball away, not just break up passes. I could see him switching to safety at the next level to hide some of those straight-line speed concerns and allow him to play on the hash and find the football. He’s a good enough tackler to play there too as a final-level defender. My NFL comp is Tedric Thompson.
Projection: Priority Undrafted Free Agent
Depot Draft Grade: 6.2 – End Of Roster/Practice Squad (6th/7th Round)
Games Watched: vs Southern Utah (2021), at Sacramento State (2022), at North Dakota State (2022), INT Cut-Up