A rare intra-division trade: Dolphins are trading WR Isaiah Ford to the New England Patriots, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 3, 2020
The Pats just made their big move of the deadline, trading a 2022 7th round pick to the Dolphins for WR Isaiah Ford, a 2017th 7th round pick out of Virginia Tech.
My initial reaction in GIF form:
Ford hasn’t exactly lit up the stat sheet with just 18 catches for 184 yards and 0 TDs on the season, but he is a big body at 6’2″ who should help the suddenly barren WR room in New England.
It’s hard to fault anyone for not being familiar with Ford’s work, but Belichick does have a tendency to trade for guys with multiple skillsets, and guys who despite modest stats have lit him up in the past. Ford checks both of those boxes.
Fun fact on Isaiah Ford: lefty.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) November 3, 2020
(This is from last year’s regular-season finale. He had seven grabs for 54 yards to go along with this one carry for 11.) pic.twitter.com/9eXittx5N9
It’s not an apples to apples comparison because he ended up being one of the best receivers in Patriots history, but there is a similarity to another player Belichick acquired from the Dolphins. In 2006 the Dolphins’ Wes Welker had 9 receptions for 77 yards, returned 4 kickoffs, and returned 2 punts against the Patriots in Week 5. Belichick was smitten and despite a 1 catch performance in the Week 13 rematch, he traded a 2nd and a 7th for Welker that offseason.
I was just looking at the numbers and good lord you forget just how prolific Wes Welker was in this Patriots offense. He had triple digit receptions in every single year except his first season back from a torn his ACL. 112, 111, 123, 86, 122, and 118 receptions in each year in New England. Preposterous.
Now obviously that is best case scenario and one of the greatest trades in Patriots history so thats not a fair comparison, but there are parallels. He’s even got some slick moves in the slot for a guy his size!
Isaiah Ford (84) in the slot.— Taylor Kyles (@tkyles39) November 3, 2020
Burns Bobby Wagner by using pace to sell the sit route before breaking across the field pic.twitter.com/hRybkz5C29
If you believe Schefty it sounds like the Pats plan to stick him in the slot while Edelman is on the mend, which makes sense considering thats where the Dolphins have primarily used him this year.
New Patriots WR Isaiah Ford is 6-2, 194 pounds. Spent the last three seasons with Miami, catching 41 passes for 428 yards over 16 games. 18-184-0 in seven games this season. Played 207 of his 225 snaps this season in the slot, per PFF.— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) November 3, 2020
I don’t know what to expect from Ford, but some Dolphins writers were calling him the biggest steal of the 2017 draft. So there’s that. He’s not exactly a burner with a 4.6 40, but check out some of the positives from his BR scouting report.
Often, on his deep targets the defenders stay on his hip and he must make spectacular catches, which he flashes the ability to do. As he showed with his broad jump of 127 inches, Ford has explosive leaping ability that he uses to outjump defenders He has great body control in the air and near the sidelines, showing nice adjustments to the football. His combination of size, leaping ability and body control give him an excellent catch radius.
Now I’m not encouraging everyone to take their pants off reading scouting reports and watching college highlights because look how that turned out with N’Keal Harry, but Ford does have some impressive body control in his Virginia Tech highlights.
FWIW, here’s Isaiah Ford flexing his body control and high-point ability in college pic.twitter.com/HCSImBG0eI— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) November 3, 2020
So it’s not a sexy name or a big splashy trade, but those are rarely the ones that wind up being the most successful moves in New England so I’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.