Ohio State Football: Denzel Ward right fit for Browns

Denzel Ward continued a long line of great Ohio State corners. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Denzel Ward
Denzel Ward continued a long line of great Ohio State corners. INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Denzel Ward /

Most experts expected the Cleveland Browns would choose a defensive end with the 4th pick in the draft but cornerback Denzel Ward should fit in just fine.

“With the 4th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select Denzel Ward, from The Ohio State University”

These words from commissioner Goodell were not expected by most before Thursday night, but were lovely to hear for Browns fans, and Buckeye nation.

Ward was thought to be a top 10 pick, but many believed the Browns would take defensive end Bradley Chub with the 4th pick, if Baker Mayfield was drafted first. However, it is Ward who will be joining Cleveland this season and he couldn’t have seemed more excited.

Ward came out onto the stage with a smile on his face and making O-H-I-O gestures as the Browns fan’s in Dallas cheered for the Ohioan. However, the true happiness of the fans will have to be earned by Ward on the field, which I think he will accomplish.

Ward is joining a Browns defense that ranked outside the top 25 in almost every defensive category according to NFL.com. And while this defense is young (and supposedly improving) they are still in need of a leader in the secondary.

There is no doubt in my mind Ward has the ability to fill that role, even as a rookie, because he should be playing big minutes from the start. Ward also was the clear leader of the Buckeye defense a season ago totaling 30 tackles while also grabbing two interceptions, so hopefully those leadership abilities will transfer from Columbus to Cleveland.

More from Ohio State Buckeyes

So Leadership looks bright, as well as tackling ability. The only thing that scares me with Ward is him getting beat over the top of the defense.

As a Buckeye that was a slight problem during the early part of last season, so if these trends come back then he could start off rocky wearing an NFL uniform. Film studies and the offseason should help this area, so if Ward takes his job seriously starting NOW, then I trust he will be okay.

Sadly for Ward there is a history of losing football in Cleveland, and even great players like Joe Thomas and Joe Haden, who had long and impressive careers as a Brown failed to reach the playoffs once. This can get into a young player’s head. Ward cannot let that happen.

At first winning may be rare, but this Browns roster is young, and shows great promise. Along with Ward the Browns drafted the former Buckeye enemy Baker Mayfield, and Georgia RB Nick Chubb.

Next: Two post draft questions for Buckeyes

This team needs someone to lean on in what seems like a time of turn around in the franchise. Ward needs to be just that.