Denzel Ward was hyped up as the top lockdown cornerback in the 2018 NFL Draft class and many thought he would go top-10. What many didn’t think, however, was that the Cleveland Browns would pass on Bradley Chubb with the No. 4 overall pick to take the Ohio State star.
Cleveland drafted Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They knew that defense was the need at No. 4, but chose to improve their secondary instead of their pass rush. Ward will step in as an immediate starter and has the potential to become an elite talent in the near future.
Last season at Ohio State, Ward put up 37 total tackles to go along with two interceptions and 15 defended passes. There are some question marks surrounding his game, but the Browns are getting a good one.
According to NFL.com, Ward’s best NFL comparison is Chris Harris Jr. If he can live up to that comparison, the Browns will be getting a major playmaker for their defense.
Standing in at 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Ward brings extreme athleticism and quickness to the field. He does have some questions about his size, along with his ability to be a physical corner. Despite the concerns, the Browns feel like they are getting the top defensive talent in the draft.
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John Dorsey has made it clear that there is a new era of football beginning in Cleveland. Mayfield is a blue collar worker who will do everything in his power to win football games. Ward is staying home in the state of Ohio and will beef up the Browns’ playmaking in the secondary.
It will be interesting to see what kind of start Ward has throughout his first couple of seasons. There is a lot of pressure that will be placed on him with the Browns passing on Chubb. If he can live up to his full potential, the Browns will have gotten the best defensive back in the 2018 draft class and will not regret their decision.