Eagles GM Howie Roseman is constantly looking to upgrade his roster, even after training camp and on the eve of the third preseason game. On Thursday, he swapped defensive tackle Bruce Hector for safety Rudy Ford in a trade with Arizona.
First and foremost, the surprise move gives the team added depth in a pretty thin secondary. On the surface, it’s easy to dismiss Ford as another guy brought in to eat up preseason snaps. However, it’s no secret that the Eagles have not been thrilled with the play of their backup safeties.
Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod are entrenched as the two starters and behind them it’s been a revolving door: Andrew Sendejo, Tre Sullivan, Johnathan Cyprien, Deiondre Hall and Trae Elston. Other than Sendejo, no one has really stood out through training camp and two preseason games.
Ford, a sixth-round pick in 2017, brings very little experience to the table having played in just 23 games (with one start) for the Cardinals. He has nine total tackles in two seasons, but he has been a solid contributor on special teams. On the downside, he got beat for a touchdown last week against the Raiders on a tight end fade in the red zone.
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Ford Posted Blazing Speed at Pro Day
Johnathan “Rudy” Ford played college ball at Auburn where was he was the team’s leading tackler in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, He also started 12 games at nickel corner, but a season-ending knee injury kept him out of the Sugar Bowl. Ford decided to skip the NFL combine after his senior year, a move that decidedly hurt his draft stock before Arizona took a chance on him in the sixth round.
It was at his pro day where he started turning heads after posting unofficial times of 4.38 and 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash. If Ford had run those times at the NFL Combine, he would have had the best time of any safety by nearly 0.5 seconds. The lightning-quick speed is there if the Eagles can harness it.
“Today was great,” Ford told the Montgomery Advertiser after his pro day. “Even though I’m a consistent 4.2 guy, today was great. I was able to come back and see my boys that I came in with compete and do what we love to do. It was great.”