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Pitt Safety Paris Ford To Explore NFL Draft Options

Pitt Safety Paris Ford To Explore NFL Draft Options

Pitt’s defensive unit was the strength of the team in 2019 and with so many starters returning next year, it should once again be one of the top units in college football.

What could drastically change things is if the Panthers lose one of their top players.

Paris Ford will be a junior next season, but is eligible to enter the 2020 NFL Draft if he chooses to declare and that’s something that he will consider.

Pittsburgh Sports Now has learned that Ford has submitted paperwork to the NFL in order to get a graded evaluation and is expected to get those results in the next two weeks. Those evaluation requests are commonplace for juniors, and Pitt typically submits multiple requests per year for underclassmen. They are less common for draft-eligible sophomores like Ford.

That evaluation could end up being very important for Pitt. PSN has been told that told that if Ford is given a first- or second-round grade, he would then choose to leave for the NFL. If he gets a third-round grade, Ford would consider leaving, but anything beyond that would prompt a return to Pitt.

This season, in his first year as a starter, Ford recorded 53 tackles, three interceptions, nine pass breakups and three forced fumbles as he was named to the first-team All-ACC defense. He finished tied for third in the ACC in forced fumbles, fifth in interceptions, eighth in passes defended and ninth in solo tackles, despite missing nearly an entire game of the season after two targeting ejections.

Pitt is already slated to lose fellow safety Damar Hamlin and cornerback Dane Jackson to graduation in the secondary.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Smljf
Smljf
7 months ago

Stay one more year and he’ll be a high pick. If he’s already thinking of leaving but returns, he’ll baby minor injuries – put himself before the team, like Ed Oliver did at Houston in 2018. . Might be better for the team if he just declares and leaves.

Smljf
Smljf
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Vukovcan

Hes not a first or second rd talent this year. Post Gazette had an article last week interviewing a scout regarding Pitt’s underclassmen who could leave for the draft and Ford did not get a 1st or 2nd rd grade. If he leaves anyway, hes short-changing his earning potential.

If he returns to improve his draft stock, will he put team first?

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

He’s good enough. He’s gone. It was fun watching him play this season.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
7 months ago

He’s an NFL talent, but he’ll leave millions on the table by going a year early. Whitehead would have been a 1st round pick if he waited another year, but his situation made more sense. I don’t think Paris is in that boat just yet.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
7 months ago
Reply to  Mike Vukovcan

In the long run I agree, but he’s far from a finished product. He needs another year at the collegiate level. He could be one of the top 5 safeties in the 2021 draft. Love to see him playing in the same secondary as Avonte.

Section 122
Section 122
7 months ago

He gone

TSD2007
TSD2007
7 months ago

One of the reasons I dislike Narduzzi as a HC is how he’s handled Paris. Clearly this kid should have been all over the field for more than one season, but not on Narduzzi’s watch. He had to ‘wait’ his turn, its a joke. There is a ton of talent on this team but Narduzzi would rather play Jazzee Stocker and make Ford wait. He wasted Fords talent. There are dozens of examples of this type of stubborn arrogant coaching. I am glad that Narduzzi is being exposed. This has gone on for five years. HCPN is way overrated. Ton… Read more »

Section 122
Section 122
7 months ago
Reply to  TSD2007

If Beville is close to being ready in spring ball then Pickett has to sit next year.

Smljf
Smljf
7 months ago
Reply to  Section 122

While I agree with you, Narduzzi will not sit Pickett. He’ll play Pickett to his team’s detriment – he sticks with “his guys” – unless Whipple gives him an ultimatum.

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