Auburn defensive end Dee Ford doesn't like to talk about his draft stock. He'd rather let his on-field production speak for him.
In his first game since Auburn's loss to Florida State in the BCS National Championship game, Ford notched two first half sacks for the South team, shining through an uneven offensive game for both teams. Ford also had two sacks against the Seminoles.
He's not going to mention his draft stock though.
"I don't do this for cash," said Ford, the 2014 Senior Bowl MVP. "I do this for pride. I do this because I really, really want to be great. The money will come. I'm just all about perfecting what I do."
And with that statement, he likely increased his draft stock even more.
It's hard to view statistical achievements in this game as an indication of a player's success; like the first preseason game each year, offenses tend to start a bit behind defenses due to a lack of cohesion. That was the case Sunday in Mobile, Ala., where no quarterback had anything of a big time performance. Fresno State's Derek Carr threw a touchdown pass and Eastern Illinois' Jimmy Garoppolo led two field goal drives for the South.
The Senior Bowl is the largest collection of players assembled for NFL scouts, coaches and front office execs to see until the NFL Scouting Combine in late February. Players can increase their draft stock quite a bit with solid performances throughout the week that culminates in the game. Each team is coached during the week by the staffs of NFL teams. Gus Bradley and the staff of the Jacksonville Jaguars coached the winning South team while Mike Smith and the Atlanta Falcons staff coached the North.
The NFL Scouting Combine is set for Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis.