It didn't take the Kansas City Chiefs long to pick Auburn defensive end Dee Ford with their 23rd-overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday, because they knew who they wanted. Essentially, the team targeted four players as their potential top pick in the first round, with Ford being one of those guys.
"Yeah, that was it," Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. "There were three or four players there that were very close. We identified him a while back and liked him and (John) Dorsey felt very strongly about him, and we went with it."
Dorsey, who wrapped up his second-official first round of the draft on Thursday night, didn't hesitate when comparing Ford with the three other unnamed players that were in the team's preferred group.
"There were three other guys and they had kind of peeled off there, and at the end of the day, we got the guy we really wanted," Dorsey said.
You may often hear Dorsey bring up the "board", more specifically, the draft board, and wonder how it helps the Chiefs personnel and coaching staffs identify who their pick should be; Dorsey has your answer.
"The board never lies; just let it fall," Dorsey said. "It's created as a result of hours of analysis. When you pick back in the twenties, I think you have to do more of a deeper analysis and study trends and see how certain things are going to fall and therefore, you'll be able to make accurate predictions in terms of who are the four guys you're trying to identify and there won't be any surprises; you won't make a knee-jerk reaction as everything is done with logic and fact.
In the 2013 Draft, it was really easy, because you had the first pick in the draft and in this one, you really had to analytically focus in on when certain components and runs, as they say, unfold. I give a lot of credit to our guys for all their hard work and efforts, because it's no easy task, putting this board together. My hat's off to everybody in that personnel staff and coaching staff, having that constant line of communication, with the coaches for their input, with the scouts for their input; this is a collaborative effort by all."
As for the Chiefs top pick, Ford's five years at Auburn, including the last two as a starter, offered plenty of tape for coach Reid to see what kind of player he is getting.
"He's a relentless football player," coach Reid said. "He's a tremendous person and has an extremely-high motor on the football field. He's a very intelligent player. He's a concert pianist on top of being a heck of a football player, so we look forward to bringing him into our defense; you can't have enough pass rushers and Dee falls into that category."
Dorsey further described Dee Ford, the person and the player.
"He's just a great kid," Dorsey said. "He's energetic. He's confident. He's well-spoken. He's talented and naturally, his ability to play the game of football means a lot, but when you combine that with his character and his drive to be excellent, I think that's very meaningful. And then, he fits perfectly into the locker room culture that you're trying to establish here. He's a good teammate and that's what you want, good teammates that are passionate about the game and he's one of those guys."
View photos of the Chiefs first round draft pick, defensive end, Dee Ford.
Surrounded by family and friends in his home state of Alabama, via conference call, Ford tried his best to describe what it's like to be living out a childhood dream and also shared his immediate goals.
"I hope I don't sound generic, but I definitely think I'm working in God's favor, right now," Ford said. "I'm very ecstatic right now, definitely honored. I'm so humbled to be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs! My number one goal is to be a sponge and to be a great teammate. I'm not concerned with the hype. I'm concerned with things that I can control, coming into this organization and being a great teammate. That's my number one goal, be a great teammate and learn."
We'll hear more from Dee Ford later today, when he's introduced by the Chiefs at a 4:00 pm CT press conference.