Free agency is taking up most of the picture in the foreground, but representatives for the Kansas City Chiefs are plenty busy in the background as college pro days continue throughout the weeks leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft.
On Friday, the Chiefs were among the teams checking in on the campus of Northern Illinois and expressing specific interest in outside linebacker Perez Ford.
Ford played along the line for NIU, but at 6'0, 227 pounds he's going to have to shift positions. Ford put up 27 reps on the 225-pound bench press but that was his only drill for the day, despite other prospects competing in other categories like the broad jump and the 40-yard dash. Ford led NIU in sacks with five.
Dave Syversen of Ourlads likes Ford's pro potential as an undersized sleeper who is learning to get after the passer.
Just a two year starter from the MAC who is undersized and hasn't shown a ton of production, right? Those things are true but after seeing Ford four times, I think there is some high-ceiling potential here. He may not be the ideal fit for a 3-4 OLB role, but Ford has the natural burst off the line and the easy bend-ability to make him a handful for blockers to direct. Ford has a sack in each of his last 5 games and it appears the light is coming on. There is more than athletic ability here. Ford shows the know-how when it comes to pass rush moves and disengaging from blockers who have a 60+ pound advantage on him.
Additionally, heading into this season, Optimum Scouting's Eric Galko liked Ford's pro potential as well despite his size.
He is a very undersized prospect at defensive end, but does more with his skill set that his size does not allow for. Has great speed that gives him the advantage in pass situations, and uses it to his advantage. Can be overwhelmed in the run game, but plays with great leverage and outstanding strength that allows him to compete with the larger offensive lineman.
The Chiefs dipped in the NIU well with the selection of wide receiver Da'Ron Brown in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft.