The Buffalo Bills picked up former Texas A&M football RB Keith Ford as an unrestricted free agent after the draft, and they should put him on their final roster.
Texas A&M football employed a two-headed monster at running back for the last two seasons. They had the speed back with Trayveon Williams exploding onto the scene as a true freshman back in 2016, and the power back was Keith Ford.
Ford’s journey is an interesting one. If you want insight into where he comes from, check out this story from Spectrum News in Buffalo.
Ford went to high school in Cypress, TX, which just so happens to be my home town where I grew up from age three to 25 (with a few years in College Station sprinkled in. A, WHOOP). He originally committed to Oklahoma before tragedy struck his close friend circle and he wanted to move closer to home.
That’s when the Texas A&M opportunity presented itself.
He played two years at Oklahoma, sat a year, and played two years for the Ags. In those first three seasons, he was a dynamic cog in a running back system. He gained 1,195 yards on 220 carries, good for 5.43 yards per carry.
Some might have expected him to be drafted after graduating given he was a 5-star recruit in the 2013 class, but A&M’s rushing offense took a nose dive due to poor offensive line play in 2017. Ford averaged just 3.9 yards per carry in his final season, though he did score 12 touchdowns.
Ford was picked up by the Buffalo Bills as an unrestricted free agent after the 2018 NFL Draft. By most accounts, he has a real shot to make the team or, at the very least, be added to the practice squad.
Given the Bills’ situation at the position, they need to give Ford an opportunity. They currently have three 30-year-olds, a 29-year old and a 27-year old competing for roster spots.
LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory are two of the 30-year olds, and they are going to get a bulk of the carries this season, but the Bills have to look to the future as four of those five are already beyond the age where their production dips.
Ford showed off his incredible athleticism at the Texas A&M pro day. He would have finished in the top 10 of the 40, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, and three-cone drill if he competed at the NFL Combine (he was not invited).
If he can prove his worth on special teams, which is what most third and fourth string players have to do, he should definitely find his way into the rotation this year. But, the Bills run the risk of someone else scooping him up if they delegate him to the practice squad.
Ford has done plenty in his college career and has enough potential to be the future at running back for the Bills. They would do well not to let that slip away.