When the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft finished, a few prospects made the short-list of “first-round talents” who dropped to day two. The Buffalo Bills seized an opportunity to guarantee they could draft one, offering a late fifth-round pick to move up two spots and select Oklahoma guard/tackle Cody Ford.
At 6’4” and 329 lbs, Ford is a grizzly bear who reminds me a lot of two players—former Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn, and Oakland Raiders’ guard Gabe Jackson. He has immense “paw power,” seizing defenders and throwing them around the field. He runs every play through the whistle. This man can be an impact run blocker from day one. His pass-protection technique is quite nice—he was well-coached in Oklahoma’s offense.
I also think his footwork is impressive, given his size. The Bills have listed him as a tackle in their press release, which is important. It means they believe in his potential out there. The great news is that they can truly create a best-possible line configuration now. Imagine Dion Dawkins-Quinton Spain-Mitch Morse-Cody Ford-Ty Nsekhe. Or Nsekhe-Dawkins-Morse-Spain-Ford. All the pieces are there.
There’s not a lot of risk with this choice, like a D.K. Metcalf selection might have carried. Ford doesn’t have an injury history other than a broken leg three years ago. If he can’t handle tackle, he can move in to guard.
I have no issue with the trade up. The Bills were not going to have room for ten rookie draft picks (especially seven day-three players), and to guarantee their preferred player, it was a judicious move to make.
The Bills made it absolutely clear that their goal was to upgrade the offensive line around Josh Allen going into his second season. Ford is the capstone of that commitment. I love the choice, and I love it in the context of having completed the defense yesterday with Ed Oliver. Both of the players they chose are high-upside talents who can be foundational elements of the future Buffalo Bills. This team is building the roster the correct way—in the trenches—and they aren’t breaking the bank to do it.