A scouting report on one of the best defensive players in the 2018 NFL Draft, Denzel Ward, and how he could fit in the Green Bay Packers defense.
Denzel Ward is one of the most electrifying players in this year’s class.
An excellent fit with the Packers, he would likely be the best player on the board and would address the team’s biggest need.
Ohio State has put out several great players in recent seasons, including names such as Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Thomas, Joey Bosa and Marshon Lattimore. I believe Ward will continue that recent run of success for Ohio State.
Ward is very good in man coverage, probably the best man coverage corner in this year’s class. He can recover if beat initially by a receiver on the outside. Has good footwork.
His speed will make his transition to the NFL a lot easier. Not afraid to attempt tackles — that is an underrated trait for cornerbacks. He’s a very good tackler.
Can be used in run support. Will get a lot of pass deflections right away and will rarely get beat deep.
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Ward had a great combine with a 4.32 40-yard dash time and a 39-inch vertical jump, per NFL.com
He did a solid job facing Baker Mayfield last year. Showed he candle handle going up against big-name quarterbacks
Ward has real shutdown corner potential.
Seems a little weaker in the slot than he is on the outside. He was used a lot more in man coverage than zone coverage. Might struggle a little at zone initially, but that should be able to be touched up fairly quick.
Not a hard hitter. Good tackler, but I doubt he gets many forced fumbles in his pro career. Rarely blitzed the quarterback off the edge, and I doubt he will succeed at that in the NFL.
May struggle in the red zone if he is matched up against athletic tight ends. He only had two interceptions in his entire college career, per Sports Reference.
Fit with Green Bay
Ward could immediately excel with the Packers if he was paired with King, and would be an excellent addition to the Packers secondary.
Ward would have the potential to immediately fill the Packers’ biggest need, and if he were to slide to the 14th pick — or even into the range where the Packers could realistically move up for him — it would be a dream scenario.
Could he end up in Green Bay?
Not unless they get very lucky or trade up. There is still the chance they do get lucky though with all of the quarterbacks that will be picked before the Packers are on the clock at 14.
When will he be picked?