Five weeks into the season and we have already seen plenty of action with some under-the-radar teams. The Cleveland Browns have surprised the nation with a 2-2-1 record already surpassing their win total over the past two years. Baker Mayfield has taken over the quarterback duties, but that’s not why I am here. I’m here to look at the Browns defense. More specifically, a look at CB Denzel Ward, who I’m promoting for Rookie of the Year honors.
Here is a quick look at some his stats so far:
-leads all rookies with nine passes defended
-leads all rookies with three interceptions tied with Donte Jackson
-Tied 10th in tackles with 25 on the season (behind five linebackers and three safeties)
-Tied 2nd with Jackson among cornerbacks in tackles (Tre Flowers (26)).
Denzel is building quite the resume, but stats don’t show everything. If you watch this kid play you will see him make some clutch plays in crunch time. Check out his blocked field goal versus Baltimore. Check out his timely interception off Joe Flacco at the goal line. These are just some examples and maybe it’s a small sample size, but Ward looks amazing and definitely worthy of the fourth overall pick.
There are two people standing in his way, though – Darius Leonard and Derwin James.
Leonard is an inside linebacker who was selected 36th overall by the Indianapolis Colts. He currently leads all rookies with four sacks and 54 tackles (38 solo).
James is a safety who was selected 17th overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. He is right behind Leonard with three sacks. He also ranks eighth in tackles with 31 and has an interception on the year.