Cleveland expects Denzel Ward to be the No. 1 cornerback immediately

AP

When the Browns open the season against the Steelers, look for Denzel Ward to cover Antonio Brown.

That’s the word from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com who writes that the Browns drafted Ward to be a shutdown corner and are likely to start him Week One and let him learn on the job.

Covering Brown is a tall order for any rookie, but if the Browns didn’t think that Ward was capable of that kind of task, they wouldn’t have used the fourth overall pick in the draft on him. The Browns thought Ward was the best defensive player in this year’s draft, and they want him to show it right away.

Although it was overlooked on an otherwise terrible team, the Browns actually had a pretty good run defense last year. If Ward can shore up the pass defense, it’s easy to see him being one of the key building blocks for a turnaround in Cleveland.

30 responses to “Cleveland expects Denzel Ward to be the No. 1 cornerback immediately

  1. They’d better believe this… if Chubb dominates and Ward is just a decent cornerback, they’ll have to answer for that for the next decade.

  2. Chubbs performance has very little to do with how Ward and the Browns will be perceived. If Ward is just decent and Chubb is just decent, both teams will be panned for taking decent players in the top 5 while one some other guy drafted later is a perennial all pro. If Ward is lights out, it’s a great pick. If not, it’s a bad pick regardless of Chubb. At #4 you believe the kid could develop into top 5 in the league at his position.

  3. Ward could end up in the Hall of Fame, but I’m not concerned with what he does week one against the best WR. He might get 3 holding calls, but he’ll be close by. This kid is the real deal. He’ll definitely help his team. Chubb will be great for his team too. I might have picked Chubb, but you can’t go wrong with an elite cover corner.

  4. tvjules says:
    May 16, 2018 at 6:17 am
    They’d better believe this… if Chubb dominates and Ward is just a decent cornerback, they’ll have to answer for that for the next decade.

    No they won’t. They didn’t need another EDGE. They needed a good CB. They got arguably the best CB in the draft. And the draft is a crap shoot in any case. It’s ignorant to think there is some sort of comparison against Chubb or any other player in the draft. If that were the case then anyone who picked a QB “has to answer” because not a one of them was the best player on the board when they were picked. Not one. Do those teams need to “answer” too? SMH.

  5. @tvjules

    …and if Ward develops into a top-5 CB in the league, and Chubb is just a decent DE, and Cleveland sucks anyway, nobody will care or give them credit for the genius move that was drafting Ward over Chubb.

    Just sayin…

  6. Despite the Browns terrible overall record, their losses last year to the Steelers were close 21-18 & 28-24. With Roethlisberger waning it wouldn’t take much improvement for the Browns to win one of those two games, and if you can split with the Steelers you aren’t a bad team.

  7. @streetyson:
    please dont dilute yourself into thinking a team who has 1 win in two years (and a history of ineptitude) is taken seriously…even when the games are close. it’s called divisional familiarity. you dont actually go winless if you’re “close”

    on another note…that’s going to be a tough first day of work.

  8. People forget that the pre-draft scouting grade is the perceived likelihood that the player will develop into an average, contributing NFL player.

    A 95 or 97 grade is a high likelihood of “average” not a prediction on future greatness or perennial pro-bowls.

    Great NFL players develop from great college players based on work ethic, work mentality, coaching and system more-so than pre-draft accomplishments or college talent.

    With one or two notable exceptions, all players drafted were great college players. The path to NFL greatness is 100% in front of them. Right now these guys all still have to work off some of their baby fat. They’re in the big leagues but in many ways, they are still boys in a men’s league.

    We’ll see.

  9. if you can split with the Steelers you aren’t a bad team…woulda, coulda, shoulda…when you go 1-31 you, without any possible doubt, are a bad team. Two other teams (TB and Det) have gone winless (non strike years). They were bad teams the following year…TB 2-12, Det 2-14. Keep wishing and a hoping.

  10. TruFBFan says:
    May 16, 2018 at 7:39 am
    tvjules says:
    May 16, 2018 at 6:17 am
    They’d better believe this… if Chubb dominates and Ward is just a decent cornerback, they’ll have to answer for that for the next decade.

    No they won’t. They didn’t need another EDGE. They needed a good CB. They got arguably the best CB in the draft. And the draft is a crap shoot in any case. It’s ignorant to think there is some sort of comparison against Chubb or any other player in the draft. If that were the case then anyone who picked a QB “has to answer” because not a one of them was the best player on the board when they were picked. Not one. Do those teams need to “answer” too? SMH.

    ______________

    Tell that to the reigning SB champs. You can never have enough EDGE rushers

  11. I forgot in Cleveland rookie corners don’t struggle like they do in the rest of the NFL. There is no way they ruin his confidence by starting him day 1 and watch him get torched repeatedly until he becomes a shell of himself and needs a scenery change.

  12. Bobsacamano, I love your Seinfeld reference but you’re kind of clueless. Cleveland will absolutely be killed if Chubb becomes more valuable than ward because (1) Chubb was widely considered the consensus pick, (2) the nfl is a copycat league and the current super bowl champs built their defense around the d-line (I know they didn’t have a good SB but they were excellent all year and all playoff up until that point, you could argue the line got them there) and (3) when Brandon graham was drafted before earl thomas, Thomas was considered the pick there for the eagles and fans KILLED the team for years over that; while Thomas was banging out pro bowl seasons, graham took a while to develop, graham is a pro bowler now but Thomas is a hall of famer

  13. “When the Browns open the season against the Steelers, look for Denzel Ward to get torched by Antonio Brown”

    There – fixed it for you.

  14. Who cares if he covers AB or not…if Mayfield is under center they won’t be winning any games

  15. let’s see.
    A. Brown x2
    Michael Thomas
    A.J. Green x2
    Keenan Allen
    Julio Jones
    Mike Evans

    we will find out quickly if this guy is a CB1

  16. stubborndata says:
    May 16, 2018 at 10:15 am
    I would be a day 1 starter on the browns

    ————————————

    What are you waiting on? That roster spot can be pretty lucrative.

  17. @isithockeyseason:
    Did you just put Earl Thomas in the HOF? slow down my man…slow down
    They’re both special talents at their respective positions, which are vastly different from one another, and an obvious reason NOT to compare the two.

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