Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano (58) celebrates after making an interception during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Secret Superstars is our weekly feature where we’ll be highlighting great play in the previous week’s games from under-the-radar players.
While we’ll give most weight to performance in the week just gone, an out-of-the-blue game isn’t going to sway us too much. We are looking for some degree of confidence this wasn’t just a one-off thing, whether it be played in other games this year, in college, etc.
Week 5 Grade: 81.7
On our SkySports segment for UK TV, during the Jacksonville-Kansas City game, I asked Sam Monson the question “so when did Dee Ford get good?” To which, the replay that came back was “just this year.” That I guess pretty much sums up Ford’s career to date. The 23rd overall pick out of Auburn in 2014 was set up for success: learning the trade behind Justin Houston and Tamba Hali and then gradually worked into the rotation as he developed. Unfortunately, that improvement never materialized – until now.
Some might point to his 2016 season when he picked up 12 sacks (10 if you want to run with the official method of giving out half sacks) but that was really a volume-based mirage predicated on the 21st-most pass-rushes in the league and 42% of his sacks arriving unblocked or as clean-up. This year, things are different, not only is he fully “earning” his pressures, he’s got more of them than any other edge defender in football
Week 5 Grade: 75.8
Moton may be a secret to many but not the PFF draft analysts who had him at No. 54 on our 2017 Draft Board and may even have had him higher if he hadn’t just played the one year at tackle (he’d been at right guard for Western Michigan through 2014 and 2015). Playing right tackle in his senior year, he gave up only nine pressures (no sacks) on 443 pass-blocks and graded as our sixth-best draft0eligible…