NFC West Notes: Ford, Clowney, Collier

Dee Ford played a key part of the 49ers‘ dramatic pass rush improvement last season, but the former Chiefs edge defender spent the season battling injuries. The 49ers did not use Ford last season nearly as much as the Chiefs did in 2018, with Ford’s knee and hamstring troubles contributing to his sporadic deployment. Ford took a step to a healthier 2020 season by undergoing knee surgery this offseason, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Ford described the operation as a “pretty extensive cleanup.”

He underwent the procedure a few weeks after Super Bowl LIV. Ford encountered multiple bouts of knee tendinitis last year, first in training camp and then aggravating the injury while training on artificial surfaces when the 49ers prepped for their Bengals game in Ohio. This preceded his hamstring trouble, but it sounds like Ford’s knee was an issue throughout the season. The 29-year-old defender said he “feels great” months later.

I’m able to actually explode off of this knee,” said Ford, who finished with 6.5 sacks last season. “Thinking back on it, I can’t believe I played a whole season on it. And we knew at the end of the day what we had to do — (it) had to be surgical. But I didn’t want to miss the season. We had too much going on. I didn’t want to miss that. It’s in the bag now. I’m confident in that.

Here is the latest from the NFC West, shifting to some Seahawks defensive line matters:

  • Although he has most recently been connected to the Browns and Titans, Jadeveon Clowney remains on the Seahawks‘ radar. Clowney’s most recent team remains interested in a reunion, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. But, as has been the case throughout, the Seahawks appear to be hoping Clowney will drop his asking price. Clowney already did so earlier this offseason, but based on his 2 1/2-month free agency stay, the former No. 1 overall pick appears to still be asking for more than teams are willing to pay.
  • L.J. Collier did not accomplish much on the field during his rookie season, playing only 152 defensive snaps and making just three tackles. Collier, however, suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason and said he may have rushed back from the injury. The TCU product is healthy now as training camp approaches (Twitter links via Condotta). The Seahawks plan to give Collier a shot to play a Michael Bennett-type role in their defense. Collier is slated to work at both defensive end and D-tackle, Condotta adds (on Twitter).
  • The Cardinals have not made a strong effort to lock up Patrick Peterson on another extension, but the contract-year cornerback said he still wants to play his entire career in Arizona.
  • Conversely, Rams No. 1 corner Jalen Ramsey received a strong endorsement from his head coach about both his future with the Rams and ability to reset his position’s market.
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13 comments on “NFC West Notes: Ford, Clowney, Collier

  1. wagner13

    I’m still skeptical about that Collier selection. Seemed like a massive reach at the time and he didn’t exactly shed that label with an underwhelming rookie campaign

    • kaehlaone

      Your post is a massive reach. Collier was rated as a 1st/2nd round player by the draft experts and was taken late in the first. How is that a reach?

      • wagner13

        Most draft boards didn’t have him in the first round and several websites, such as bleacherreport and pff, questioned his pass-rushing ability, believing he would be better served as a rotational end. I stand by my original post

        • ayrbhoy

          Wagner13- I think most of us 12’s have reservations or doubts that Collier can be a success in Seattle based on his 2019 (lack of) performance. I personally believe it’s too early to judge LJ Collier yet, in my mind he gets a pass because of his injury and Pete Carroll’s tendency to stick with veterans over rookies. He chose Jamar Taylor for 12 games before he released him- and he was absolute trash. Probably why we played so much base D last yr.

          Seattle is a victim of its own success though. Our 1st rd picks are always around the 30th pick* and the 2nd rd pick tends to be nearer 60. You have to ask yourself- is LJ Collier or Jordyn Brooks for that matter, going to be around with that 2nd rd pick? Probably not.

          I can’t speak for you but when talking about Collier “justifying a 1st rd pick” I think fans expect too much from late 1st rd picks. Personally I think fans equate those late 1st rd picks with the talent found in the first 10 picks of the draft.

          I mean no disrespect but IMO fans make too much of ‘their own draft boards.’ It’s a fun game to speculate or fantasize who’s going where in an upcoming draft but it’s just that- a game, pure fantasy. Im sure your aware that fans don’t have the same resources as an NFL team’s vast scouting system.

          • wagner13

            No disrespect. Seattle’s certainly proven me wrong before with some fantastic picks. However, they’ve also been a bit underwhelming in this regard recently, with Penny looking like a misstep. I’m also a bit skeptical about Brooks over Queen. Just my meager opinion

            • ayrbhoy

              Queen vs Brooks, yeah that’s a good debate. On the one hand you can see how a lot of ppl believe P Queen has better pass coverage skills than Brooks. Then again, you could say Queen is undersized for the position where Seattle will play him and he has only had 1 year of College football heading into an offseason like no other in NFL history.

              • wagner13

                That’s a good point. I didn’t really consider the impact the shortened offseason would have on rookies. I thought Queen was a bit overrated myself, but I felt Seattle could’ve traded down a bit for Brooks

                • ayrbhoy

                  The Hawks are really good at blowing up draft boards huh? Haha. I feel like Seattle and NE always seem to ‘march to their own beat.’

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