2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ohio State CB Denzel Ward


PLAYER PROFILE


Height: 5-11

Weight: 183

College: Ohio State

Class: Junior


TRAITS BREAKDOWN


SIZE/PHYSICAL TRAITS (4/5)

  • Slightly undersized at 5-11, 183 lbs.
  • May struggle with size at times due to smaller stature/lack of length and ideal play strength

COVER SKILLS (27/30)

  • Excels in press and off-man coverage (35.1% completion percentage on throws into his coverage in 2017, per PFF)
  • Very good at preventing separation in man coverage
  • Doesn’t give up big plays
  • Seldom used in zone coverage but showed good instincts/awareness in small sample size
  • Good vertical to contest jump balls
  • Can play slot or outside effectively

AGILITY/TECHNIQUE (17/20)

  • Extremely agile
  • Excellent mirror-and-match footwork
  • Quick feet
  • Fluid hips
  • Smooth backpedal
  • Patient in press
  • Crowds receivers on downfield throws and utilizes sideline as extra defender
  • Somewhat susceptible to double moves at the line of scrimmage
  • Can get a little grabby at the top of the route

SPEED/BURST (15/15)

  • Excellent recovery speed (est. 4.3 40) to make up ground if beaten initially
  • Can run with virtually any receiver on vertical routes

MENTAL PROCESSING (13.5/15)

  • Good instincts/awareness in zone coverage
  • Good pattern anticipation/recognition
  • Runs routes for receivers

BALL SKILLS (7/10)

  • Average ball skills
  • Doesn’t locate the ball consistently, but does a good job of playing the ball through the receiver’s hands and doesn’t panic/grab receiver (15 pass breakups in 2017)

RUN SUPPORT/TACKLING (3.5/5)

  • Willing and decent open-field tackler
  • Sheds receiver blocks fairly well
  • Occasionally takes poor angles to the ball-carrier

VERDICT


NFL COMPARISON: Jason Verrett

GRADE: 87.00/100.00 — (EARLY-MID) 1ST ROUND — Good player with Pro Bowl potential

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