Packers 2018 draft prospect profile: OSU CB Denzel Ward


In this edition of prospect profile we examine Ohio State Buckeyes defensive back Denzel Ward. We spoke with Erik Lambert of FanSided’s NFL Mocks for more insight on the potential Green Bay Packers first-round choice.

Ward elected to forgo his senior season in Columbus after having his most successful statistical year since becoming a Buckeye.

He compiled 37 tackles, recorded two interceptions, defended a team high 17 passes and broke up 15 passes. His 15 pass break-ups ranked in the top-10 in the nation.

The 5-foot-10 corner was recognized for his contributions on the field, earning All-American honors and first-team all-Big Ten.

Ward has the opportunity to become the fourth Ohio State Buckeye corner to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last three years. The previous three are Marshon LattimoreGareon Conley and Eli Apple.

His athleticism is off the charts and a key attribute that has NFL teams intrigued in the future pro.

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According to ESPN’s Mel Kiper‘s rankings, Ward is the top corner in this year’s draft. In’s latest mock draft, Lance Zierlein believes Ward will go eighth to the Chicago Bears.

I spoke to Erik Lambert of FanSided’s NFL Mocks, to learn more about Ward and if he is a viable option for the Packers.

What are Ward’s strengths? 

“Athleticism, agility, fluidity, good speed and plays physical.”

What are Ward’s weaknesses? 

“Undersized, average ball skills and somewhat injury-prone.”

How would Ward fit with the Packers? 

“His ability to play press-man coverage is a great fit for the Mike Pettine scheme. Most will say he’s a slot corner but he’s more than capable of playing both inside and outside.”

NFL comparison? 

Chris Harris Jr.”

Even though the Packers used last year’s first draft pick on Kevin King, drafting Ward is a distinct possibility.

Their secondary continues to struggle and Ward could be a key piece in Green Bay’s desire of building a powerhouse defense.

They could absolutely use Ward’s athleticism and physicality, something the secondary has lacked. The biggest concern surrounding Ward is his size and being outmatched against pro wide receivers.

If the Packers have the opportunity to draft Ward or Iowa corner Joshua Jackson, they will be in good hands.

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The two corners are clearly this year’s top corners on paper and are projected to have successful NFL careers.