Not every sixth-round choice in the NFL Draft lands where he can compete for a starting position as a rookie, but that might have happened to Auburn defensive back Rudy Ford when the Arizona Cardinals selected him on April 29.
An All-State running back for New Hope in 2012, when he ran for 1,669 yards and scored 27 touchdowns, Ford converted to the secondary at Auburn, where he played safety, cornerback and nickel back during his four seasons.
Versatility is just what the Cardinals like in their mix-and-match secondary, where six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson seems the only player restricted to one spot.
For Ford, though, he'll start his pro career by learning to be an NFL cornerback.
"They're going to leave me as a corner," Ford said. "I've been familiar with and I've been playing three different positions since I've been at Auburn -- really four including the running-back spot. But the Cardinals want me to come in and play cornerback. That's what I've been training as."
In free agency in March, Arizona lost players who started 39 games in its secondary last season - Marcus Cooper signed with the Chicago Bears, Tony Jefferson signed with the Baltimore Ravens and D.J. Swearingen signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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