Skip to main content

Cleveland Browns Comprehensive NFL Draft Review: Jerome Ford, RB Cincinnati

The Cleveland Browns used a fifth-round pick to select running back Jerome Ford out of the University of Cincinnati. Exploring his role with the Browns and his career outlook utilizing the game film as well as historical data.

With the 156th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns selected Jerome Ford, a running back out of the University of Cincinnati. The Browns have selected Bearcats in back to back seasons as they selected James Hudson III, an offensive tackle in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The pick was acquired in a trade down from the 118th pick that also netted the Browns a fourth-round pick in 2023 from the Minnesota Vikings.

Ford started his career at Alabama. After redshirting his first season, he started one game, appearing in four. He then transferred to Cincinnati and played the past two seasons, becoming the feature back in 2021 where he set a record for rushing touchdowns in a season with 19.

Athletic Profile

Age: 22 (Born September 12th, 1999)

Height: 5'10 1/2"

Weight: 210 lbs

Arm Length: 30 5/8"

40-yard dash: 4.46

Broad Jump: 118"

Vertical Jump: 31"

3-cone: 7.31 (Pro Day)

Shuttle: 4.22 (Pro Day)

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Ford's speed stands out as the rest isn't particularly impressive. It doesn't quite reach that 79 mark he needs from one of his attributes. His explosion is poor based on testing and his agility is only slightly better. His age is fine.

Ford's fastest path to the field will be on third down. He has to get better in pass protection, but he looks capable of making an impact as a receiver immediately. It will be difficult to do initially with Kareem Hunt on the depth chart, but whether he's operating out of the backfield or lined up outside, he can be a matchup problem.

As a runner in particular, he has some similarities with Hunt in terms of where he succeeds. The hope is he can improve his vision to be able to be more effective in the Browns wide zone scheme, thereby unlocking his speed in more open field opportunities.

As it is, he should be able to function in gap concepts and short yardage situations, which is exactly what Hunt has done in his tenure with the Browns. Short of injuries, Ford's going to be the third running back on the depth chart at best this year. That could allow him to be groomed to replace Hunt next season.

Worst case scenario, Ford is a back who will get what's blocked for him and could offer value in the passing game. He projects as a role player that could step in and carry a game here or there, but he's unlikely to be a feature back in the NFL and may not stop the Browns from drafting another running back as soon as 2023 to fill out the depth chart behind Nick Chubb.

The Rest of the 2022 Draft Class

Martin Emerson, CB Mississippi State

Alex Wright, DE UAB

David Bell, WR Purdue

Perrion Winfrey, DT Oklahoma

Michael Woods II, WR Oklahoma

Isaiah Thomas, DE Oklahoma

Dawson Deaton, C Texas Tech