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Ravens to meet with Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford

Senior Bowl standout has a formal meeting with the Ravens

By Aaron Wilson

The Baltimore Suns

1:09 PM EST, February 23, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS

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Auburn pass rusher Dee Ford has a formal meeting scheduled with the Ravens at the NFL scouting combine.

Ford said he's already met informally with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome.

Ford dominated the Senior Bowl all-star game in January, recording two sacks and a pass deflection for the South squad during a 20-10 victory.

"Speed is my favorite move," Ford said. "I can open up and do different things with the counter moves and speed-to-power. Once you beat them with speed, you have those tackles off-balance the whole game."

He's graded as a late first-round draft pick to early second round.

"I feel like I am one of the best pass rushers in this draft," Ford said. "I don't doubt myself. I never say, 'I'm going to fall to the second.' I definitely need to be in the first. I'm not going to settle for second."

Ford is a classic hybrid pass rusher who projects well as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He could possibly play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme if he adds more bulk to his 6-foot-2, 252-pound frame.

"Size is an overrated thing," Ford said. "It doesnt' affect me."

The Senior Bowl provided a boost to Ford's draft stock.

"It's one thing to watch a player on film, it's one thing to be around him," Ford said. "I think I did some really good things that week. The first thing they tell me is, 'You had a heck of a Senior Bowl.' My message is that was really nothing. I'm just going to keep going from there.

"It was great training for me. I actually met Mike Tomlin and Rex Ryan. It was a big deal for me."

He has run the 40-yard dash in 4.46 seconds in testing prior to the combine.

Ford had two sacks of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the BCS national title game and had 10 1/2 sacks for the season.

Ford said he feels like he'll transition well to outside linebacker, which is where most teams project him to play.

"As a traditional defensive end nowadays, you still drop into coverage," Ford said. "Either way, I would be stacked up the majority of the time, which I did throughout my career. I dropped back at Auburn. There were just a lot of situations where I rushed the passer."

awilson@baltsun.com

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