Jonathan "Rudy" Ford became an important player for the Packers in 2022. Ford was a sixth-round pick out of Auburn, and 2022 was Ford's first season in Green Bay. He spent the majority of his career on special teams, but in 2022 he played more defensive snaps than any other year in his career. His play on defense and special teams has earned him a new one-year contract worth up to $2.5 million.
The Breakout Season For Rudy Ford
Ford, like many, has not had an easy road to the NFL. He was born in Alabama, leading to his decision to play at Auburn. As a kid, he was given the nickname "Rudy" by his uncle after the character from the 1993 movie of the same name. Auburn initially recruited Ford as a running back, before he changed positions, finding himself on the defensive side of the ball.
After landing in Arizona, he spent two years there, primarily as a special team's ace. He would then go to the Eagles, where he was also primarily a special teamer. The Jaguars signed Ford to a two-year deal before releasing him in 2022.
His next stop would be Green Bay, where he finally got a chance on defense. The Packers' safety position dealt with some injuries, and the inconsistent play opened the door for Rudy Ford. Ford made six starts for the Packers in 2022, but his breakout game came at Lambeau Field against the Cowboys. The Packers needed to win to keep any hope of the playoffs alive, and Ford delivered two interceptions off of Dak Prescott. Ford showed he could be an impact player on defense, and his snap count kept increasing.
What to Expect in 2023
Ford will undoubtedly start 2023 with a different role than in 2022. The Packers have not made a decision on Adrian Amos but added Tarvarius Moore in free agency. Realistically this leaves the safety position in the hands of Moore, Darnell Savage, and Rudy Ford. In 2022, Ford ended the season with three interceptions, 44 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
There is a chance Ford sees the field as a starter in Week 1, even if the Packers add a safety in the NFL Draft. Ford will also likely have an impact on special teams again in 2023. Last season he played 108 snaps on special teams under Rich Bissacia. If Bissacia thinks Ford will better the special teams, then Ford could see a snap increase there too.
Mayfield Sports Marketing was pleased to work with Ford in his first season with the Packers, booking him to appear at various events. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Ford as his role in Green Bay expands.