How signing Dee Ford changes 49ers’ plans in 2019 NFL Draft

14 March, 2019, 07:40 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Dee Ford

The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to acquire Dee Ford from the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Ford last week with the hope of trading him.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - It was never a secret the San Francisco 49ers were ready and willing to throw resources - be it cash, draft picks or a combination of the two - at fixing what they view as the team's biggest weakness: an outside pass rush capable of closing out tight games.

Ford was also Pro Football Focus' highest-rated pass rusher off the edge.

San Francisco also announced a four-year deal the team had agreed to earlier in the week with linebacker Kwon Alexander worth $54 million.

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Rather than waiting to address the need in the draft with Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, it seems that the 49ers found their guy as they now attempt to work out a new contract for the former Auburn star.

Unfortunately, one of the tough things about a player in Ford's position is how he's deserving of a hefty payday, which seemed like may come down the road after Kansas City made a decision to use the franchise tag on the defender for now. He also forced a league-high seven fumbles. Ford's current clean bill of health has him feeling like 13 sacks last season is only the beginning.

San Francisco has been searching for a player on the outside fitting that description since it parted ways with Aldon Smith in 2014. The 49ers don't have "Leo" or "Sam" monikers for defensive ends in those groupings.

For the Chiefs, the second round pick in 2020 won't do anything to help them rebuild a defense that also lost Justin Houston. We'd give it an "A" if Ford had more than two productive seasons coming in - and if he didn't undergo back surgery in 2017, which shouldn't be overlooked. He has spent his entire National Football League career in a 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker and a primary reason Kansas City reportedly wanted to trade him was because it was unsure how he'd fit in new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's 4-3 scheme, particularly against the run. The guaranteed money and potential outs are what matter most though.

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