Draft Prospect Outlook:
Low-center-of-gravity technican who's best in a one-gap role but actually ate many blocks in his senior season at Texas. Gets below most offensive linemen and has the strength and burst to drive them into the quarterback. Impressive but not outstanding quickness too. Primed to outperform his draft status.
A 247Sports Composite four-star defensive tackle who signed with Texas in 2014, Poona Ford chose Texas over Missouri, Oregon and South Carolina. Expected to redshirt as a true freshman, Ford was pressed into action due to injuries up front and played in the team’s final nine games of the 2014 season. The Hilton Head, S.C., native became a fixture in the Texas defensive front as a sophomore, starting five games and playing in all 12. Ford had his best outing in an upset victory over eventual Big 12 champion Oklahoma, recording 1.5 sacks against future Heisman winner Bake Mayfield. Ford started all 12 games for the Longhorns at defensive tackle as a junior, finishing the 2016 season with 54 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. He was named team captain by his teammates and earned consistent praise from Tom Herman.
Meaningful preparation lifted Ford to his best season as a Longhorn under Herman and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Playing over the ball in Orlando’s odd front base defense, Ford was named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year by the league’s coaches while serving as arguably the biggest cog that allowed Texas to be one of the most improved defensive teams in the country in 2017. For the season, Ford recorded 34 tackles, eight tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and a blocked field goal. Ford’s length and motor allowed him to be an impact player for the Longhorns. - Jeff Howe, Horns247