The Browns pulled off a stunning move to many on Thursday night when they selected cornerback Denzel Ward fourth overall.
The Ohio State cornerback was not expected to be in the discussion for fourth overall, but it fits what the Browns have done this offseason. Browns general manager John Dorsey has tried to rebuild the secondary, adding Damarious Randall, Terrance Mitchell, T.J. Carrie, E.J. Gaines, and now Denzel Ward.
Ward is arguably the best cornerback in this year’s draft class. He has incredible athleticism, including running a 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine. He also has excellent ball skills, and the Browns will look for him to create turnovers. Cleveland ranked dead last in turnovers created in 2017, forcing only 13 turnovers during the season.
The biggest concern with Ward is his size. At 5-foot-11 and 183 pounds, there is the potential of him being bullied when working against bigger receivers. But with Gaines and Carrie already on the roster, Ward can play in the slot and play like a Chris Harris type of corner.
When the Browns went on the clock, Bradley Chubb was expected to be the pick. But with the Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah at defensive end, the Browns felt adding a potential shutdown corner was more important than adding to a deep position. In a league that has become more focused on passing, a team can never have too much talent in the secondary.
Latest Browns News
- Lavonte David Could Be Possibility for Browns
- Remembering Marty Schottenheimer: “The Best Coach I Ever Worked For”
- Browns Season Ends In Heartbreak
- 2020 NFL Divisional Playoffs: The Young and the Ageless
- Why Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown Has No Equal When it Comes to Respect From His Peers
Dorsey has history in drafting cornerbacks in the first round, as he drafted Marcus Peters in 2015 when he was the Chiefs general manager. He will look for Ward to have the same impact as Peters has made, except there are no concerns with Ward’s attitude.
Ward is the first Ohio State Buckeye the Cleveland Browns have selected since they drafted wide receiver Brian Robiskie in 2009. Ward is also a hometown kid, playing high school Nordonia High School in Macedonia, Ohio, which is less than an hour away from Cleveland