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Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward graded as AFC North’s best cornerback

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Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward graded as AFC North’s best cornerback

Browns cornerback Denzel Ward had a terrific rookie season before the injury bug hit. With freaky speed and a ton of potential as a man on man cornerback, Pro Football Focus graded Ward as the AFC North’s best cornerback in 2018.

The Cleveland Browns nailed the 2018 NFL Draft. From Baker Mayfield at No. 1 overall, to running back Nick Chubb in the second round, to Genard Avery as a fifth-round steal, the Browns secured pieces all over the field. And on top of all that, they locked up a top cornerback in Denzel Ward at the No. 4 overall spot.

 

Ward secured two interceptions in his first game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, immediately endearing himself to the Browns fanbase. He jumped out as an early favorite for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and although he didn’t win the hardware, he firmly cemented himself in the Browns’ secondary lineup.

Ward’s fantastic rookie season turned some heads in NFL circles. Although he never had the gross numbers of Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard, or the pure star power of Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James, he was still seen as one of the NFL’s best young defenders. Pro Football Focus agrees, considering that they graded Denzel Ward as the AFC North’s best cornerback, receiving a grade of 79.0

Seeing Browns players at the top of any PFF list is just so refreshing. And to see a cornerback, one of the most important positions in football, at the top of the AFC North has to be vindicating for Browns fans to see. Ward is one of the most talented young cornerbacks in the game, and those who set the NFL’s premier ranking system seem to agree.

The Browns are set up at the game’s most important positions for years to come. Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb have gotten a lot of love this offseason, but Denzel Ward deserves just as much appreciation for being an absolute defensive stud on the back line.

If Myles Garrett is the premier player for the Browns’ front seven, Denzel Ward is the premier player of the Browns’ secondary, and that’s a luxury that is oh, so nice to have.

https://dawgpounddaily.com/2019/02/12/cleveland-browns-denzel-ward-graded-as-afc-norths-best-cornerback/

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I would love another lockdown opposite him ....... 

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If Ward had finished the season? Was there a better CB in the AFC or the entire NFL? Remember.. when Duke came to the NFL..Same issues, concussions..Ward has a good example to learn from.. keep your head out of the play..  

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4 hours ago, darren15 said:

I would love another lockdown opposite him ....... 

True, still a need positionl -and- he was part of that unusual 2018 1st and 2nd picks by the BROWNS, how do they follow that act?

And I'm still slightly ticked Mayfield did not run away with the ROY pick.

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5 hours ago, mjp28 said:

True, still a need positionl -and- he was part of that unusual 2018 1st and 2nd picks by the BROWNS, how do they follow that act?

And I'm still slightly ticked Mayfield did not run away with the ROY pick.

Do we really need corner? 

1. Ward- Stud

2. Carrie- much better suited for the zone scheme Wilks runs. High fiber guy, solid #2

3. Mitchell- play maker that will give carrie a run for his money for that starting spot.

4. Boddy-Calhoun- he's a FA but I would love to see him play in Wilks system. Can play safety.

I like that group alot. If we can bring in someone like Julian Love in the 3rd round, great, but I dont think it's a priority. 

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11 hours ago, CLEVELANDwantsPLAYOFFS said:

We just need him to stay healthy and the #1 corner is a lockdown for years to come.

Ward is great, but he isn't big.  Just cover your guy, and when you need to tackle, use your arms to slow the guy down.  Deion wasn't known for his tackling ability.

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5 hours ago, Louisville Slugger said:

Do we really need corner? 

1. Ward- Stud

2. Carrie- much better suited for the zone scheme Wilks runs. High fiber guy, solid #2

3. Mitchell- play maker that will give carrie a run for his money for that starting spot.

4. Boddy-Calhoun- he's a FA but I would love to see him play in Wilks system. Can play safety.

I like that group alot. If we can bring in someone like Julian Love in the 3rd round, great, but I dont think it's a priority. 

Ya, we need a corner. I'm assuming Boddy is gone and you can't expect the other three to stay healthy all year long. You gotta have three good ones. Mitchell was brought in because of his abilities as a press corner, but as you say, Wilks runs a lot more zone than Williams.

I KNOW we need an interior DL, and I KNOW this draft is loaded with them ... but what about using that cap space we have to land a veteran free agent DT, there seems to be a few very good ones and draft another first round corner? I wouldn't be opposed.

Then go LB and WR with the next two picks,

It'll be interesting. But to me, I think you can fill an immediate need with free agency and then draft talent at all these depth positions (DB, WR, LB) where you need so many good players to compete these days.

Zombo

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12 hours ago, gumby73 said:

If Ward had finished the season? Was there a better CB in the AFC or the entire NFL? Remember.. when Duke came to the NFL..Same issues, concussions..Ward has a good example to learn from.. keep your head out of the play..  

Aside from Desmond King, Stephon Gilmore, and Chris Harris, I don't think there was a better corner this year. Ward's agility and playmaking ability is something we haven't seen in our secondary in...a long time.

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1 hour ago, Zombo said:

Ya, we need a corner. I'm assuming Boddy is gone and you can't expect the other three to stay healthy all year long. You gotta have three good ones. Mitchell was brought in because of his abilities as a press corner, but as you say, Wilks runs a lot more zone than Williams.

I KNOW we need an interior DL, and I KNOW this draft is loaded with them ... but what about using that cap space we have to land a veteran free agent DT, there seems to be a few very good ones and draft another first round corner? I wouldn't be opposed.

Then go LB and WR with the next two picks,

It'll be interesting. But too me, I think you can fill an immediate need with free agency and then draft talent at all these depth positions (DB, WR, LB) where you need so many good players to compete these days.

Zombo

The run wrecker Grady Jarrett would be my pick but there is no way Atlanta are letting him leave ....

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1 hour ago, Zombo said:

Ya, we need a corner. I'm assuming Boddy is gone and you can't expect the other three to stay healthy all year long. You gotta have three good ones. Mitchell was brought in because of his abilities as a press corner, but as you say, Wilks runs a lot more zone than Williams.

I KNOW we need an interior DL, and I KNOW this draft is loaded with them ... but what about using that cap space we have to land a veteran free agent DT, there seems to be a few very good ones and draft another first round corner? I wouldn't be opposed.

Then go LB and WR with the next two picks,

It'll be interesting. But too me, I think you can fill an immediate need with free agency and then draft talent at all these depth positions (DB, WR, LB) where you need so many good players to compete these days.

Zombo

I agree that we should bring in a free agent like Jarrett, Richardson, wilkerson, or Irving. I also think DT is by far the best value at 17. All we have is Ogunjobi so we will need to find 3 more DTs before the season starts. Right now I would like to see us go Rd1 DT Christian Wilkins Rd2 WR Deebo Samuel Rd3 LB Germaine Pratt and CB Julian Love Rd4 RT Kaleb McGary

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4 hours ago, Louisville Slugger said:

Do we really need corner? 

1. Ward- Stud

2. Carrie- much better suited for the zone scheme Wilks runs. High fiber guy, solid #2

3. Mitchell- play maker that will give carrie a run for his money for that starting spot.

4. Boddy-Calhoun- he's a FA but I would love to see him play in Wilks system. Can play safety.

I like that group alot. If we can bring in someone like Julian Love in the 3rd round, great, but I dont think it's a priority. 

I say:  yes we do.  

Until and unless you have a team made up of 22 First Team All Pros.....you always strive to get better...to upgrade your talent, at every position

Like bringing in Hunt at RB  .....you can say that makes no sense since we have Chubb/Duke.   I say that if we can go 2-3 deep with Pro Bowl caliber talent at every position...why not.

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7 minutes ago, The Gipper said:

I say:  yes we do.  

Until and unless you have a team made up of 22 First Team All Pros.....you always strive to get better...to upgrade your talent, at every position

Like bringing in Hunt at RB  .....you can say that makes no sense since we have Chubb/Duke.   I say that if we can go 2-3 deep with Pro Bowl caliber talent at every position...why not.

I agree we need depth at CB, but we only have so many high draft picks. After the first couple of rounds it becomes really difficult to project those players as starters. I would say we need to upgrade DT, WR, OT, before we worry about CB (if we bring back BBC).

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We 100% need help at corner. Carrie and Mitchell are okay, but why wouldn't you want to upgrade at that position? I wouldn't stop looking for better talent unless we have 2 all-pro corners.

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8 minutes ago, Louisville Slugger said:

I agree we need depth at CB, but we only have so many high draft picks. After the first couple of rounds it becomes really difficult to project those players as starters. I would say we need to upgrade DT, WR, OT, before we worry about CB (if we bring back BBC).

I say we get good/better everywhere we can....no matter the position.   If say, a CB is clearly the best player available in the draft, then you take one over what you consider a lesser talent at a position of greater need.   But all things being equal talentwise, you take the place of need.

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9 minutes ago, secondwave said:

We 100% need help at corner. Carrie and Mitchell are okay, but why wouldn't you want to upgrade at that position? I wouldn't stop looking for better talent unless we have 2 all-pro corners.

Sure,   give me Deion Sanders at one CB and Darrell Green at another. 

(Dixon/Minniefield;   Hayes/Haynes  etc.)

 

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3 hours ago, Zombo said:

Ya, we need a corner. I'm assuming Boddy is gone and you can't expect the other three to stay healthy all year long. You gotta have three good ones. Mitchell was brought in because of his abilities as a press corner, but as you say, Wilks runs a lot more zone than Williams.

I KNOW we need an interior DL, and I KNOW this draft is loaded with them ... but what about using that cap space we have to land a veteran free agent DT, there seems to be a few very good ones and draft another first round corner? I wouldn't be opposed.

Then go LB and WR with the next two picks,

It'll be interesting. But to me, I think you can fill an immediate need with free agency and then draft talent at all these depth positions (DB, WR, LB) where you need so many good players to compete these days.

Zombo

I would love for Williams (bama) to fall down the order some - and have Dorsey go grab him... that dude dominated the interiors of the SEC Olines.

agree on getting another corner... that’s FA for sure.

ILB ???? no clue... can’t seem to find anything better than what we currently have, imho.

Draft I’m guessing DL, OL, WR

FA - corner, WR, OL

wouldnt be pissed if we took a flyer at QB as well... Stanton (sp) is a stiff.

 

Bermeck (I was dejected when we took Baker... good thing I’m not a GM in the NFL)

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am i the only one who would love to have Devin White? He looks like he's going to be special. Ray Lewis/Luke Kuechly special.

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42 minutes ago, secondwave said:

am i the only one who would love to have Devin White? He looks like he's going to be special. Ray Lewis/Luke Kuechly special.

Devin White is the guy that would have me consider putting Schob at the WILL spot.       Yeah, he looks THAT good.

As for Quinnen Williams...? Forget about it.  That kid is going top 10 barring some crazy run on QB's and Oline. 

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2 hours ago, secondwave said:

am i the only one who would love to have Devin White? He looks like he's going to be special. Ray Lewis/Luke Kuechly special.

Nope. I would love to see a trade up for him, cuz I believe that's the only way we get him. We'll see.

Mike

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About Boddy-Calhoun, I think he is a useful piece to have, as he can add depth both at CB and Safety and in my opinion doesn't suppose an unsourmountable step down comparing to the starters. He did some plays when he stepped into the field, IIRC. If we are not overpaying for such a role I would keep him.

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22 hours ago, tiamat63 said:

Devin White is the guy that would have me consider putting Schob at the WILL spot.       Yeah, he looks THAT good.

As for Quinnen Williams...? Forget about it.  That kid is going top 10 barring some crazy run on QB's and Oline. 

I think White is a great prospect, but I think Pratt may be the better overall player and better value. White is a great blitzer and a better athlete, but Pratt has better instincts. This is a pretty solid draft for LBers so I would look for better value in the end and 3rd rounds.

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