In 1948 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Football Conference, where he excelled as an offensive end. In 1948 he recorded 31 receptions for 598 yards (19.3 yards-per-catch average) and seven touchdowns, tying him for the AAFC lead. The next year he had 36 catches for 577 yards (16 yards-per-catch average) and one touchdown.
When the AAFC disbanded at the end of 1949 season, only three teams from the league - the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts - were merged into the NFL. Ford was selected by the Browns in the 1950 AAFC Dispersal Draft created for teamless former AAFC players. In Cleveland, he became a ferocious defensive player for a very strong Browns team that dominated the NFL during the 1950s, playing in five championship games and winning three. Ford played for the Browns through 1957.