The Buffalo Bills needed help along their offensive line. This was an established fact right from the jump even during the 2018 season, so it was no surprise that general manager Brandon Beane aggressively overhauled the unit during the 2019 offseason. He added players at every position along the trenches in hopes of shoring up a unit tasked with protecting the franchise’s greatest investment, quarterback Josh Allen.
While much of the change occurred via free-agent signings, the Bills did invest a premium draft choice (or multiple choices, really, since they acquired him via a trade-up) in a player they hope will be a cornerstone of the offensive line for years to come. In today’s edition of “90 players in 90 days,” we profile that player.
Name: Cody Ford
Height/Weight: 6’3” 329 lbs.
Age: 22 (23 on 12/28/19)
Experience/Draft: R; selected in the second round (38 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft by Buffalo
Acquired: Second-round draft choice
Financial situation (per Spotrac): Ford enters the first year of his four-year rookie contract, a pact that totals $7,506,640 overall. Of that total, $4,315,395 is guaranteed. For the 2019 season, Ford carries a salary cap hit of $1,364,994.
2018 Recap: As a senior at Oklahoma, Ford started all 14 games at right tackle for a Sooners offensive line that won the Joe Moore Award as the nation’s best offensive line. He was also voted First-Team All-Big 12 by the league’s coaches, and Second-Team by the media.
Positional outlook: Ford has played both right tackle and right guard so far in camp, though he moved to the latter position mostly due to injuries to other players. He’ll be competing for time with Ty Nsekhe at right tackle, and perhaps with Spencer Long and Jon Feliciano at right guard (though the team lists Ford as the first-team right tackle on its first depth chart of the season). Other tackles on the roster include Dion Dawkins, Jarron Jones, Conor McDermott, and De’Ondre Wesley.
2019 Offseason: Ford has participated in all offseason activities to date, running with the starting group for nearly all of training camp.
2019 Season outlook: Ford is all set to start as a rookie, and with good reason—he’s a nasty mauler whose competitive streak allows him to remain in plays even when he’s been beaten. When I was at practice, he absolutely stood out for that reason. Even when he was beaten initially, he never quit on a play, and he often kept himself involved just long enough to give Josh Allen time to make something happen. While I think he is the team’s future at right tackle, I’m not so sure that he doesn’t help the team most right now at a different position—right guard—just because I view Nsekhe as a superior player to both Long and Feliciano, and Ford is a superior player to them, as well. I think the team will end up starting Ford at right tackle this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they decided to shift the young man inside to help the unit overall. Ultimately, it’s about finding the five best players up front. Ford is among them.