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Former Longhorns DL Poona Ford Considered 'Breakout' NFL Player

The Athletic named a breakout player for each NFL team in 2021, and Ford made the list as the Seattle Seahawks' selection

Former Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Poona Ford could be in for a breakout year, if The Athletic’s list of NFL breakout players for 2021 is correct.

The Athletic named one player from each NFL team as a ‘breakout candidate’ for 2021, and Ford was the selection for the Seattle Seahawks. The 26-year old defensive tackle wasn’t drafted coming out of college in 2018, despite being named the 2017 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year.

READ MORE: Longhorns Recruiting Tracker

Seattle signed Ford as an undrafted free agent, and Ford made the 53-man roster. His play and production have gone up steadily since his arrival in Seattle. He had 21 tackles in 11 games during his rookie season in 2018. He followed that in 2019 with 32 tackles and five tackles for loss in 15 games (14 of which were starts).

Last season Ford started all 16 games for the Seahawks, finishing with 40 tackles, eight tackles for loss and nine quarterback hits. All were career highs for Ford. He’s also played in four playoff games for the Seahawks.

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That made Ford a bit indispensable to the Seahawks, who paid him like a ‘breakout’ player after tagging the restricted free-agent with a second-round tender this past spring. Ford is now signed through 2023, and the two-year deal pays him $12.345 million, per That included a $3.5 million signing bonus and $7.5 million in guaranteed money, though the latter guaranteed money kicks in as base salary in 2023.

Ford played four seasons for Texas from 2014-17. His best season was in 2017, as he posted career-best numbers that included 31 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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