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Auburn's Dee Ford gets his day before NFL scouts

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Greg Robinson and Tre Mason let their NFL combine numbers stand at Auburn's pro day. Dee Ford had to work out.

The defensive end, whose stock has risen since the season, wasn't medically cleared to participate at the combine because of a previous back surgery.

Ford ran the 40 in 4.53 seconds and bench-pressed 225 pounds 29 times at pro day on Tuesday before representatives from all 32 NFL teams.

He tried to make up for the surprise news at the combine.

"I had no clue that I wouldn't be able (to participate)," Ford said. "It kind of knocked off my training a little bit, because everything is timed when you're training. I got over the hump. I actually worked out that night when I found out I couldn't work out at the combine and was able to put up some decent numbers (Tuesday)."

The 6-foot-2, 244-pound Ford had back surgery in 2011 and said he's been examined by all 32 NFL teams and his health isn't an issue. He worked on unfamiliar drills requiring him to drop back as a linebacker, where he could wind up playing for some teams.

"That's something that's foreign to me, that I didn't do much in college," Ford said. "It's nothing that I can't do."

Ford is regarded as a potential first-round pick after turning heads with his performance at the Senior Bowl.

His numbers compared favorably to other defensive ends and linebacker prospects from the combine, including potential No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney.

Ford matched Clowney for the fast 40 among defensive ends and was tied for third on the bench press.

His bench would have led linebackers while his 40 time and broad jump (10 foot, 4 inches) would both have put him in the top four. Ford's biggest regret was that he fell just short of 30 bench press repetitions. He screamed at the end and then jokingly asked reporters to turn off their cameras.

"I was very upset," Ford said. "I hope y'all bleeped out what I said."

Robinson, meanwhile, is projected as one of the top-five picks and potentially challenging Clowney and others for the Houston Texans' No. 1 overall selection. He said he's trying not to let such pre-draft talk stress him out, but he isn't downplaying the significance to him.

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