Saints draft uber-productive Texas LB Jaylan Ford

Texas gets one step closer to double-digit players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, with LB Jaylan Ford going to the Saints on Day 3.
Jaylan Ford, Texas football
Jaylan Ford, Texas football / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, Texas football has a linebacker selected in the NFL Draft. The New Orleans Saints picked senior All-Big 12 Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford with the 175th overall pick in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Texas football's Jaylan Ford the team's first LB off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft in the fifth round

Last year, the Dallas Cowboys picked Ford's teammate at linebacker for a few years at Texas, DeMarvion Overshown, with the 90th overall pick in the third round of the draft.

Ford was one of the most productive linebackers in the Big 12 in the last couple of seasons. The two-time All-Big 12 linebacker was also named a Third-Team All-American in 2022.

As the only linebacker in the Big 12 to register over a 100 combined tackles, double-digit tackles for loss, and multiple interceptions in each of the last two seasons, Ford was a special leader for this Texas defense.

Ford is also the only Texas linebacker to record back-to-back campaigns with triple-digit combined tackles in the last decade.

The multi-year starter at mike linebacker did a little bit of everything for the Longhorns. In the last two seasons, Ford led the team in run stops, total tackles, forced fumbles, tackles for loss, and interceptions.

Ford was clutch for the Longhorns, making big-time plays from the linebacker position late in games since 2022. He had a couple of key red zone interceptions in 2022 and a pick-six last fall. Ford also had a game-winning fumble recovery for the Longhorns in a road Big 12 game against a top-25 foe in 2022 against the Kansas State Wildcats.

Between his ability to generate turnovers, consistently get downhill to plug running lanes, and hold his own dropping back in coverage, Ford was a fantastic captain for this Texas defense.

Texas has nine players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft

Ford is the ninth Texas player selected in the 2024 NFL Draft and the third on the defensive side of the ball. Texas had two defensive tackles selected in the top 40 picks in this draft, Byron Murphy II (16th overall to the Seattle Seahawks) and T'Vondre Sweat (38th overall to the Tennessee Titans).

Check out our latest Texas football articles on Hook'em Headlines