Jerome Ford: A Breakthrough Rookie Year?

August 17, 2022

The Cleveland Browns have an embarrassment of riches at the running back position. Jerome Ford is an explosive rookie who only adds to an already robust room.

If you happened to watch the Brown’s first preseason game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars last Friday night, you probably noticed the number 34 making plays all over the field. That would be Brown’s 2022 fifth-round pick Jerome Ford running back from the University of Cincinnati.

Ford had ten carriers for 57 yards and a rushing touchdown in his first preseason game. He also had a lovely day in the receiving game catching four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Ford’s playmaking skills were a huge reason the Browns beat the Jaguars in their first preseason game.

When the Browns drafted Ford, it kind of caught everyone off guard. The Browns running back room was already deep enough with Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, D’Ernest Johnson, and Demetric Felton, but Ford’s skill was just too good to pass up on in the fifth-round.

Highschool

Ford went to Armwood Highschool in Seffner Florida. He was a four-star running back and ranked 279th in the ESPN 300 for the 2018 college recruiting class. Ford got offers from schools like Arizona, Cincinnati, Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, and many more. He ended up committing to the University of Alabama, where he would go on to play for legendary head coach Nick Saban.   

Alabama

Ford went to Alabama for his freshman year in 2018. He was able to play in four games for the Crimson Tide that year, and he still was able to keep his redshirt. In his redshirt freshman season in 2019, he appeared in four games and rushed for 114 yards with three touchdowns. That would be the last season he would ever put on a Crimson Tide jersey, and he ended up transferring up north to play for Luke Fickell and the University of Cincinnati.  

Cincinnati

Ford transferred to Cincinnati in 2020, making the most of a shortened season due to Covid. He appeared in ten games and rushed for 483 yards with eight touchdowns. Ford must have been looking forward to the 2021 season because he and the rest of the Bearcats put on a show.

Ford appeared in 13 games, rushed for 1,319 yards, and had 19 touchdowns. He also had 21 receptions for 220 yards and one touchdown. Cincinnati ended up going 13-0 and being the first non-power five school to compete in the College Football Playoff. Ford would end up meeting his old school Alabama in the playoff, and that’s where Ford’s collegiate career would end. Alabama beat Cincinnati to go to the National Championship, and it was time for Ford to start preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.

NFL Draft Process

Ford was picked to be part of the 2022 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. He ended up going through practices all week, but when it was time for the game on Saturday, he was excused from practice to see the birth of his daughter.

Ford also competed in NFL Scouting Combine where he weighed 5’10 and weighed 210 pounds. He ran a 4.46 40-yard dash, 31 vertical jump, and 118 broad jump. He had one more shot to put on a show for NFL scouts, and that was at Cincinnati’s Pro Day.   

The NFL Draft would come for Ford, and he would still sit there on day three for a team to steal him. The Browns had the 156th pick in the fifth round, and Ford was about to call Cleveland his new home.

Ford’s Future

Ford will have a significant impact on the Browns for many years to come. I don’t know how much he will be used in his rookie year because it does look like he will be the fourth running back on the depth chart, but with the unknown of Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson after this season, Ford could very well be the second running back and third-down back for the Browns in the 2023 season.


We’re hiring multiple contributing writers for the 2022 season! Please apply here!

Want more Browns content? Check out the site here for more on the Browns, and follow our network Twitter @StadiumRantHQ for more sports content.