Area Scout Max Paulus (4.30.22)


Opening statement:

“Hey, everyone. We just took (RB) Jerome Ford here in the fifth. Jerome had a very productive college career at Cincinnati. We are excited about adding another fast playmaker to our running back room. That is why we chose Jerome here in the fifth.”


On the Browns adding another RB to a strong room:

“We are very happy with our running back room as it currently stands, but no different than any other position, we are always going to be looking to add competition. I think Jerome is going to do that. Jerome is a fast and explosive runner. We are always going to be looking to add playmakers and give (Head Coach Kevin) Stefanski pieces to play with on offense so that is why we chose Jerome here.”


On if Ford has experience as a returner:

“He has not [in games] at the University of Cincinnati, but he has worked on it in practice. That is something that (special teams coordinator) Coach Prief (Mike Priefer) will work with him here.”


On Ford’s ability to catch the ball:

“Jerome showed very consistent and confident hands this year. No different than any other player, we are looking for versatility both in the running and passing game and feel comfortable of him adding that skillset here.”


On if RB Demetric Felton Jr. is viewed as more of a RB or a WR:

“(Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry) AB has addressed this in the past. Demetric will be in the running back room moving forward. Like I said earlier, we are going to concentrate on adding competition to each and every room, and the running back room is no different.”


On how a rookie like Ford gets playing time in a room with several good RBs:

“I think what Jerome adds to our offense is electric speed, burst and explosion, and we are going to work with him on his kick return ability on special teams. He is really going to have to work obviously with the competition that we have in place, but we think he is going to be a nice playmaker for us.”


On if the Browns look more closely at Ford’s games against Notre Dame and Alabama compared to not as strong competition during the evaluation:

“No, not necessarily. We look at multiple games over multiple seasons. Jerome has proven throughout the course of this year, he averaged 6.1 yards per carry and had 19 touchdowns over the season. I think he did a really nice job in some big moments in other games. In the AAC conference championship game, he had a really nice game against Houston. Not necessarily. We do not put too much weight on those bigger games, but like I said, we really try to look over multiple seasons and over multiple games.”


On Ford starting at Alabama not hurting the résumé:

“Nope. Absolutely not.”


On some evaluators comparing Ford to RB Kareem Hunt:

“I appreciate the question. I am not going to comp the player, but again, see a fast, explosive playmaking runner for us.”


On how to tell if a player has hit his ceiling yet and growth opportunities when evaluating a player like Ford:

“That is a really good question. I think specifically with Jerome here, he has shown very good acceleration with very good speed. Other things that we can help him improve on are his patience and things that (running game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell) has identified as areas of improvement. I think with those more technical things when you identify those as areas he can improve in, then you really feel good about, hey, this is a player who we think has not hit his ceiling yet, but he has shown those tools that are critical for a running back to have and have success with. Those are some of the things that we will look for as areas for growth.”


On if there was a moment that stood out from Ford’s career:

“He really hit the scene fast this year. In his first game against Miami, he had two really long runs. He really came on strong as the seasons went on. Obviously, Cincinnati had a very good season, but he really exploded onto the scene early this season and I would say he made a name for himself early on.”


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