Healthy Rudy Ford flashes speed at Auburn pro day

Rudy Ford is healthy and ready to test the waters in the NFL Draft next month.

More than three months after injuring his ankle in the Iron Bowl loss to Alabama, Ford put it to the test Friday during Auburn's pro day Friday. He participated in one drill -- the 40-yard dash -- and was clocked at an unofficial 4.34 seconds, the fastest of the day.

"I'm really blessed, just through all the injuries and just really fortunate to get out here and run," said Ford, who checked in at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds. "A consistent 4.2 is what I was hoping to run. That's what I am. Throughout this whole injury, I'm just blessed that I was able to come showcase some speed."

"I'm definitely back and ready to roll."

Ford's injury kept him out of Auburn's Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma and the Senior Bowl in Mobile. He spent some time in Minnesota rehabbing the ankle.

On Sunday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, he totaled 20 reps in the 225-pound bench press. It was the most among safeties and was tied for third among all defensive backs. 

Ford is projected to be a seventh-round pick or a free agent by NFLDraftScout.com. He is ranked as the No. 10 free safety and No. 263rd overall player in the field.

Based on those numbers, Ford would tell you he's been undervalued.

"I feel like I'm the top prospect to come out this year," he said.

Representatives from all 32 NFL teams were present at Auburn's pro day, including Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Ford, a former high school running back at New Hope, said he's being evaluated as a cornerback, Nickel and free safety.

How Auburn players tested at pro day

"Everyone that's here I met with," Ford said. "Today I'm going to have some more meetings with some more teams... Steelers, Falcons, Chiefs, Bengals, Colts, Panthers, Texans. I talked to everybody."

Ford finished his senior season with 59 tackles (38 solo) with 5.5 for loss to go along with seven pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. He led the team in tackling as a junior and sophomore and finished his career with 275 total stops. 

"Just staying focused," Ford said when asked about his plans for the coming weeks. "I've never been hurt before. Just really staying focused and just keeping a positive attitude with everything. It's a blessing and a great journey."

The NFL Draft will be held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.

 

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