Miami’s seventh-round pick is trying to make the 53-man roster at arguably the team’s deepest position: wide receiver. This was an area of strength last season, led by the trio of Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker. In addition, 2016 draft picks Leonte Carroo and Jakeem Grant provided depth.
The Dolphins have had success in the past with seventh-round picks, such as receiver Rishard Matthews (2012, now with Tennessee) and safety Jimmy Wilson (2011). Ford is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Virginia Tech and will need to hit the ground running in order to make the team.
“I think that I’m a playmaker. I’m someone that can be trusted when a play needs to be made,” Ford said. “I’m a great route runner. I love to snatch the ball out of the air or I can catch it and do something when I get the ball in my hands. So anything that needs to be done, I feel like I can come in and work as hard as I can to do it.”
There was a reason Miami did not address offense until the fifth round of this year’s draft. Head coach Adam Gase got the offense clicking and heading in the right direction. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was 8-5 as a starter and had arguably his best season throwing to his talented group of receivers, while the power running game led by Pro Bowler Jay Ajayi’s 1,272 rushing yards provided balance.
As a result, the Dolphins drafted five defensive players out of seven picks. The only two on offense were Ford in the seventh round and fifth-round guard Isaac Asiata. Rookies report to the Dolphins on Thursday.
“I’m just excited for the opportunity. It’s been a long time coming,” Ford said. “I’ve been dreaming about this opportunity since I was 5 years old and just for it to come, it’s truly a blessing. I’m ready to get there and get to work.”