After seven combined starts at left guard through the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Ford was moved out to right tackle in 2018, where he proved to be one of the most physically-gifted offensive linemen in college football. Once he and his fellow starters along the offensive line truly began to gel midway through the season, he was really able to thrive. In fact, the whole unit thrived, which is why OU’s OL was the recipient of the 800-pound Joe Moore Award.
After entering the season as a relative unknown outside of state lines, Ford improved his draft stock more than perhaps any other player in the college game this season. With his combination of size, strength, athleticism, footwork and general nastiness, he’s going to be a very intriguing option for teams who are looking to draft a versatile offensive lineman with tremendous upside. Because of these things, Ford is listed as a first-rounder in plenty of early mock drafts. I would certainly imagine that the NFL Combine will go quite well for a guy like him, so all-in-all, this seems like a pretty smart decision on his part.
OU fans have loved watching this dude play, and I think it’s safe to say that they all look forward to watching him continue to dominate at the next level.
So where does OU go from here? That’ll largely depend on the decision of left tackle Bobby Evans, who has still not announced his plan. If he also leaves for the NFL, OU will be replacing four of its five starters along the offensive line. Fortunately, Bill Bedenbaugh has been an ace recruiter of late and has always been a fantastic developer of talent. Growing pains will be expected early in 2019, but once the unit finds its footing, it’ll likely return to its dominant ways.