Pro Football Weekly's Chicago Bears Preview Magazine

2018 NFL Draft

Denzel Ward

CB/Ohio State

  • A
    7.00
    Projection
    Round 1
  • YearJunior
  • Height5-11
  • Weight183
  • Hand8
  • Arm31
  • 40-yard4.32
  • Bench16
  • Vertical39.0
  • Broad136.0
  • 3-coneN/A
  • 20-yardN/A
  • 60-yardN/A

    Strong Points: Very athletic with great speed, easy change of direction, quick feet and loose hips. Has very long arms for a 5-foot-10 guy (31 1/4). Can be physical in taking on blocks and tackling. Reacts well to the ball in the air and can track the ball. Plays with confidence and has a short memory. Best in press coverage but can play off and zone. Concerns about his height went away at the combine.

    Weak Points: Only a one-year starter (but received significant play time as a rotational player in 2016). Good, not great height. Only one career interception. He weighed much lighter than expected (183) at the combine.

    The Way We See It: A third-year junior, Ward only logged one year as a starter, but he earned significant play time in 2016 playing in a rotation with two first-round draft picks (Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley). Can be a physical press cover guy, where he shows he can re-route receivers. Also a capable zone and off coverage player. He only has one career interception, but Ward does play the ball well. At the college level, opponents didn't attack him. With his feet, quickness and suddenness, he can play inside and outside. Has the talent to come in and start right away for most teams but lack of actual experience has to be concerning. His combine workout was outstanding, making him the clear-cut No. 1 corner in this draft. Might not be as good as the Ohio State corners from last year, but he's not far behind.

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