Chiefs sign first-round pick Dee Ford

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs announced Saturday the signing of first-round pick (23rd overall) outside linebacker Dee Ford, bringing all members of the team’s 2014 draft class under contract.

Ford appeared in 52 games with 20 starts at defensive end at Auburn, but projects as a pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Chiefs.

“I just want to play football,” Ford said following Day One of the team’s three-day rookie minicamp. “I’m excited about the opportunity to get to play here. Now I’m officially a Chief.”

The 6-foot-2, 252-pound Ford was an All-Southeastern Conference first-team selection in 2013. He recorded 10.5 sacks last season, including two sacks in the BCS championship against Florida State.

For his collegiate career, he totaled 93 tackles (59 solo), 20.5 sacks. 27.5 tackles for loss and 40 pressures. The native of Odenville, Ala., also recorded three forced fumbles, two pass breakups and an interception.

The drafting of Ford offers the Chiefs a potential long-term solution at the outside linebacker position, and depth behind starters Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

Houston enters the final year of his contract and Hali turns 31 in November.

The Chiefs also return as pass-rushing outside linebackers from last season’s roster: Frank Zombo, who re-signed a two-year deal in March, Dezman Moses and Josh Martin.