From playing in the 2014 OHSAA state championship game with Nordonia High School, to having a great Ohio State career, Denzel Ward has decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
Ever since his days at Nordonia, Ward’s speed and athletic ability at the cornerback position was never a question. Aside from football, during his senior year of high school, Ward won the state title in the 200-meter dash. After watching his electric speed as a Buckeye, NFL junkies around the league believe Ward’s speed could beat John Ross’s 40-yard dash record of 4.22 at the combine on Monday. With the combine heating up in the week ahead, Denzel Ward will be a name to look out for because of his insane speed and leaping ability.
Ward truly blossomed with the Buckeye secondary in 2017. He finished the season with 37 tackles and two interceptions earning him the awards of First-Team All-Big Ten and First-Team AP All-American.
Like previously mentioned, Ward’s strengths are bountiful. He’s super fast and athletic, tight in pass coverage and physical. Ward’s physicality is the one thing that is oftentimes overlooked because he is considered an undersized corner. He’s a player that isn’t afraid to make a big hit and jar the ball from a receiver’s grasp.
Ward is what you would expect from the top cornerback in the draft class: he doesn’t have many drawbacks. His lack of height at 5’10” and delayed reaction to looking back for the ball are the only real knocks on Ward. After watching numerous Ohio State games and rewatching clips, these drawbacks are not a real concern.
The humbleness of Denzel Ward is something that cannot be explained. Throughout his journey, Ward has never put himself above anyone else, even as a high school superstar. Ward plays for his late father, Paul, who was influential at Bedford City Schools. Denzel has used his success to create a scholarship fund in Paul’s honor. Whatever team is lucky enough to land Ward is receiving a genuine class act.
Ohio State Buckeyes have found tremendous NFL success lately, so Denzel Ward will most likely be taken with one of the top 15 picks. Plenty of teams need a lockdown corner and that is exactly what Ward gives you in the first round.
Fit in Cleveland
As everyone knows, the Cleveland Browns possess the first and fourth overall picks in the 2018 draft. While top five might seem way too early to select Ward, he will probably turn some heads at the combine. No matter what, there is going to be more attractive options for the Browns in the first round as they need a quarterback and various skill players.
However, if the Browns were to trade down and away from the fourth overall pick, Denzel Ward would be a perfect option. Here’s a smart example of something that could happen to select Ward:
If you’re an Ohio native or Nordonia alumni like myself, you would absolutely love to see Denzel Ward in brown and orange.