Auburn's Dee Ford tallied 10.5 sacks in a breakout 2013 season. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Despite watching Jadeveon Clowney run a blazing 4.53 40 on Monday morning, Auburn defensive end Dee Ford refused to back down from his earlier criticism of the potential No. 1 pick. Ford said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio Sunday that Clowney "plays like a blind dog in a meat market" and he went back to that well while talking to the NFL Network's Kimberly Jones.
"When I rely on my athleticism rather than bring the technical aspects, the fundamental part, watch film to become a great pass rusher, I become a blind dog in a meat market," Ford said. "When I watch Jadeveon that's what I see. He's 6-foot-6, 240 and he just plays. But at the end of the day, does that make you a great pass rusher or a better pass rusher than me? No. ...
"We're not saying that dog can't run. We're just saying he can't find the meat. That wasn't a personal shot at him at all. It's just fun, it's competition."
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Unfortunately, Ford did not get a chance to go toe-to-toe with Clowney at the combine. He was pulled from drills by the event's medical staff for what Ford called "a medical precaution" stemming from 2011 back surgery to relieve a herniated disc.
"Right before the bench yesterday, I'm warming up and they came and got me and told my group leader that I was medically excluded from participating in the combine," Ford told Jones. "I feel fine, everything was fine ... it was just what they called a medical precaution. They don't want to risk anything here. It's very unfortunate, I came to compete in this combine."
Ford stormed his way into the first-round conversation with a breakthrough 2013 season; he finished with 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss in 12 games. (Ford missed two contests with a knee injury.) The most recent Audibles mock, posted by Doug Farrar prior to the combine, had Ford coming off the board at No. 27 overall to New Orleans.
Ford believes he should be considered much higher than that. "I'm better [than Clowney]," he proclaimed on that same SiriusXM interview.
His next chance to prove it may come at Auburn's Pro Day, currently scheduled for March 4.