The picture above says it all. Cleveland Browns rookie cornerback Denzel Ward is the AFC special teams player of the week.
The number four overall pick blocked a field goal attempt by Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker to end the first half. The blocked kick would have tied the game 6-6. As a result, the Browns would win the game 12-9 in overtime. If Ward does not block that field goal, Cleveland would have lost the game in regulation by that exact same score.
It’s the first special teams honor for the hometown kid. It’s not the first time Ward has been honored for his efforts.
Fan voting allowed Ward to take home the Pepsi rookie of the week award in week one. Ward recorded two interceptions of Ben Roethlisberger in the 21-21 tie.
The former Ohio State Buckeye can take home the award for his performance on Sunday. In addition to the blocked kick, Ward had an interception of Joe Flacco at the goal line in the first half to stop a likely touchdown drive.
Ward will have a familiar face also looking to take home the rookie of the week award. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is also in the running for the honor. Both Ward and Mayfield have won the honor once already this season. Mayfield won in week three for his performance against the New York Jets. Second round pick, running back Nick Chubb has also won the award in week four.
Needless to say the Browns rookie class has been special so far. General manager John Dorsey has done a terrific job with his first draft class since taking over in December of 2017.
Ward is a terrific example of Dorsey’s expertise. After going with Mayfield with the number one overall pick, Dorsey surprised everyone and took Ward at number four. Everybody expected the pick to be Bradley Chubb, the defensive end from North Carolina State.
Ward has been special in five games. Hopefully that continues for the next eleven games and for years to come.