With the NBA Playoffs in full swing, Pro Football Focus decided to come up with the NFL’s version of a triple-double. It’s players who accumulated double-digit sacks, hits and hurries over the course of the regular season. Fifteen players made the list. One of them was the San Francisco 49ers significant trade acquisition, Dee Ford. Here’s what they had to say:
15 sacks, 17 hits, 45 hurries
Newly acquired San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Dee Ford turned in a breakout year in his fifth season as a pro, the first season in which he earned an overall grade higher than 65.0. His overall grade of 88.6 ranked 11th among edge defenders in 2018, and his pass-rush grade of 91.0 ranked first. Ford led all edge defenders with 77 total pressures last year.
Of the other 11 edge rushers that were on the list, Ford was third in sacks, QB hits, and had six more pressures than the next closest edge rusher.
From a production standpoint, Ford was out of this world in 2018. Kansas City Chiefs fans will tell you he’s a one-year wonder, but the guy had ten sacks when he played a full season back in 2016. I can understand health being a concern, but Ford has proven he can play at a high level in the NFL. He gets the benefit of the doubt.
The reason it feels like Ford can repeat his 2018 season is that he didn’t get all of his production in a couple of games. Ford had six games where he recorded at least three QB hits. Ford had a sack in 11 separate games. Also, if Ford wants to play out his contract—or get another one this big—he has to perform.
Surrounding Ford in a similar situation is notable as well. With the Chiefs, Ford had Justin Houston and Chris Jones, who made the triple-double team as well. Deforest Buckner didn’t make a list as he finished with 13 sacks, 31 hurries, and only nine QB hits, per PFF. What a slacker! Then there’s Nick Bosa, who was universally regarded as the best edge rusher in the draft, and comfortably so. If healthy, Ford might not put up the same numbers as a year ago, but he shouldn’t be far off.