Just about nine days ago, the Philadelphia Eagles signed DT Aziz Shittu and waived S Blake Countess with an injury settlement. Now, the Eagles are back in the business of bolstering the safety position with the trade executed today. Philadelphia acquired S Rudy Ford in exchange for DT Bruce Hector.
Rudy Ford was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After being drafted out of Auburn to the Cardinals, he mostly spent a lot of his playing time in his rookie season on special teams before he was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. After that injury, Arizona promoted Harlan Miller to the active roster on special teams.
In 2018, Rudy Ford played in more games with the Arizona Cardinals. After playing ten games in 2017, he saw more playing time in thirteen games in 2018, including one start. His statistics in tackles increased slightly, but he has yet to break into double digits in tackles for a season. Even with his playing time in 2018, Ford was still being used primarily as a special teamer with the Cardinals.
This preseason, Rudy Ford recorded three tackles in a win against the Los Angeles Chargers and one tackle in a loss against the Oakland Raiders. The exchange for Bruce Hector is a fair one, considering Hector joined the Philadelphia Eagles last season and played in eight games, starting none. Hector has tallied two career tackles and a half-sack.
Looking back at his time at Auburn, Rudy Ford was a versatile player. While he is playing the safety position in the NFL, he did also play running back and tight end at Auburn before finding his footing on defense. As a running back, he had seventy-three rushing yards and a touchdown. As a tight end, he had one catch for twenty-five yards. At most, he could be a gadget player on some sneaky looks from Doug Pederson on offense.
In his last season at Auburn before being drafted to the Arizona Cardinals, Ford played in thirteen games, finishing with one hundred and eighteen tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown. Overall, he had two hundred eighty tackles, five interceptions, three forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown in his college football career.
This is a trade that is a product of the Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive line being healthy with depth across the board. While the safety position does have depth, Bruce Hector was a bargain trading piece to land the former Auburn Tiger. I would expect Rudy Ford to take on the role of strong safety in Jim Schwartz’s defensive scheme, taking the place entirely of Blake Countess.
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports