Seahawks Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

Cornerbacks are always in high demand come draft night, and this year the 2018 draft will be no exception. One player that likely won’t last long is that of Ohio State Buckeyes CB Denzel Ward, a player who is quickly climbing the charts.

Ward is coming off a tremendous combine, and is known by many as the top CB in this year’s draft class. Here’s our official look at Ward and what he’ll bring to the table to the lucky team that grabs him this year in round one.

Here’s a Scouting Report from


OSU cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs told reporters last spring that Ward was a “gifted player” and truly a “third starter” at cornerback, joining 2017 first-round picks Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley. Ward proved his coach correct, earning first-team All-American and all-conference accolades in 2017 with 37 tackles, two for loss, two interceptions, and 15 pass breakups (ranked in the top 10 in the nation). He earned honorable mention All-Big Ten notice from league media as a non-starter in 2016, playing 30 snaps a game on defense. Ward tied Lattimore for the team lead with nine pass breakups on the year (23 tackles), never giving up on a play and being quite physical despite his average size for the position. Ward got onto the field as a true freshman, making seven tackles, primarily on special teams. Ward was a first-team All-Ohio pick and Division II Co-Defensive Player of the Year as a high school senior (nine interceptions, 18 pass breakups). He also qualified for the state track meet as a long jumper and part of the 4×400 relay.


Strengths Supreme athletic ability. Expected to be impressive Combine tester. Can park in a deep squat under wide receiver’s chin at the line. Patient from press showing no panic or hurry in initial movements. Can pedal and mirror for a long time without opening hips. Tremendously gifted footwork. Mirrors and matches with good balance throughout the route. Matches changing route speed stride for stride. Plays from low side of route to take away comebacks. Uses big burst for recovery and closeouts. Carries true long speed down the field. Reads clues from off-man. Reads slants and drives in front of the route in search of an interception. Allowed just over 32 percent completions over last two years. Ballhawk with sudden hands to attack the throw. Bats throws down and will swirl arms around the catch point to prevent target from finishing the catch.


Frame is somewhat slight and he feels small in coverage at times. Lacks play strength to jam and disrupt. Appears to avoid route contact so he doesn’t upset coverage balance. Physical receivers can body him around at the top of the route. Needs to turn and find football sooner with back to the ball. Always around the throw, but lack of size and length shows up with “just misses” in pass defense. Several pass breakups came on throws with poor placement. Coverage benefitted from deep, talented rush unit up front. Has issues disengaging from big blocking receivers. Big backs drag him for a ride in run support.

Draft Projection Round 1

NFL Comparison Chris Harris Jr.

Chat Sports takes a look at Ward:

The cocky cornerback was a monster in the Big 10 this year, racking up 15 pass deflections and a pick while completely locking down one half of the field. He’s electric, smart, and will be bonafide #1 CB in the NFL. Despite his lack of size, he’s a very physical corner and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He should be one of the first 10 picks in the upcoming NFL draft, but the only question for Ward at this point is what team he’s going to dominate on.


-Absurdly quick
-Excellent ball skills
-Has the swagger you want in a CB
-Big hitter
-Good blitzer when needed
-Very smart player


-Will struggle against physical receivers
-Not the most willing tackler
-Too timid in the run game
-Get blocked out of plays too easy
-Bigger WRs eat him up

Player Comparison: Chris Harris Jr.

NFL Draft Grade: 1st Round (#2 CB)

Projected Round: 1st

The Drafster on Ward:

Ohio State
Cornerback #12
Junior, 5’10” 191 pounds


Long and lean with the athleticism handle duties in the slot and along the perimeter
Production a product of his aggressive, competitive nature when the ball’s in the air
Easy mover with fluid movement skills, equal feet and loose hips that serve as catalysts for his ability to consistently mirror releases with ease
Elite burst and closing burst are evident when transitioning from his pedal to his downhill pursuit
Brings a battle to the catch-point with impressive savvy to directly play through pass-catcher’s hands
Plants himself in receivers’ pockets and remains in-phase down the field to consistently keep him in position to make a play
Understands how his responsibilities work in space and how to utilize leverage to generate turnovers when trailing
Springy leaper who times his attempts on throws with optimal timing


Frame is on the thinner side with room for further development
Timing remains a noticeable issue when getting his head around and locating the ball
Can transfer power through contact when he has space, but physicality as a run defender runs thin
Lack of overall girth has served as a hindrance when pressing and jamming bigger receivers
Requires further refinement when connecting his hands and feet to defend releases without panicking and grabbing in man
Has become reliant on explosion out of breaks to compensate for excessive steps

Pro comp: Jason Verrett

Draft projection: 1st Round

In a class of top-end talented corners, Ward is a name to stash away. He continues the recent run of impressive Buckeye corners that have been early selections and offer a potentially lengthy NFL career. Although he isn’t a physical specimen and is underwhelming size intensifies battles with receivers with the build advantage, Ward is supremely athletic and technically savvy to a degree that unquestionably warrants a first round selection. He can operate on both sides of the field and in the slot, increasing his value when considering his skill set that can succeed from a number of different coverage schemes. Ward has what it takes to find success in the league for a number of years.

Here’s the College Bio Page on Ward.

Some Quotes on Ward from


“Ward wasn’t high enough on my radar early in the year, but I went back and watched some tape from this season — and boy was I impressed. Spending last season behind Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley (all 2017 first-round picks), he didn’t get much playing time, but he has elite fluidity, quickness and recovery speed. He has closed the gap with Fitzpatrick and had 15 passes broken up (Fitzpatrick had eight).”


“Quick-twitch athlete with explosive movements in any direction. Owns track speed with immediate acceleration to close gaps – the ‘fastest guy’ at Ohio State during the Urban Meyer era, according to OSU strength and conditioning coach Mikey Marotti. Sudden, but composed with swivel hips and velvet feet to stay in phase with elusive receivers.

“Lacks ideal height and length for the outside, creating mismatch issues vs. bigger targets. Works hard in the weight room, but lacks ideal bulk and limb strength. Bad habit of grabbing cloth at the line of scrimmage or near the top of routes. Ward’s lack of inches shows at times in coverage and as a run defender, but he is a premier athlete with the budding instincts and required toughness to be trusted vs. NFL receivers on an island, either on the outside or in the slot. He is one of the top-three cornerbacks in this draft class.”

Free Agent Wide Out Terrelle Pryor Chatting with the Seahawks Sunday

Free agent wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is scheduled to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday according to Ian Rapoport of

Rapoport adds that quarterback Russell Wilson is at the forefront of recruiting Pryor to Seattle, where he would compete for time in three-receiver sets alongside Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett and give Wilson a huge redzone target.

The 28-year-old Pryor was a bust as a free agent for the Washington Redskins in 2017 but was a 1,000-yard receiver and the best offensive player on an admittedly woeful Cleveland Browns team the year before-which was also Pryor’s first season playing the wide receiver position after years at QB. With the right coaching and a great quarterback in Wilson, Pryor could prove to be an exciting addition to a Seattle offense desperately in need of playmakers.

Seahawks One Team with Interest in Signing Wide Out Terrelle Pryor

The Seahawks have yet to do much in free agency this offseason, but that could be changing as they are one of the teams reported to have an interest in wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.

Pryor spent one unforgettable season in 2017 with the Washington Redskins, catching only 20 passes for 240 yards before an ankle injury ended his season.

His best season came the year before in 2016 with the Browns, another team reported to be in the running for his services, pulling in over 1000 yards with 77 catches and four touchdowns.

Michael Silver tweeted out today that also the 49’ers and Rams have interest in signing Pryor.

Is the Window Closing or Can the Seahawks Reload This Offseason for Another Super Bowl Run?

By Hayden Goldberg

The future of the Seattle Seahawks is up in the air. With their recent trade of Michael Bennett, and the release of Richard Sherman and Jeremy Lane, they have committed to a full-scale rebuild of the most dominant defense of the century. Between 2010 and 2012, John Schneider found multiple needles in haystacks, but was this luck or skill, and can it be repeated?

To stay competitive, Schneider’s purge is necessary.

The Seahawks are working with little cap space, and these three moves – the first of many – gave them approximately $18 million to work with this year, plus $21 million down the line. An additional $7 million for this season can be freed up if Cliff Avril leaves the team, either by release or retirement. This would give them approximately $37.6 million to work with this offseason, but the question is what do they do with it?

For starters, they need to re-sign their franchise quarterback. At first, this may not make sense as Russell Wilson has another two years left on his contract.

But, the way the quarterback pay scale in the NFL works is that whenever a good, healthy quarterback signs a new contract or extension, he signs the largest deal in the league, surpassing whoever previously held that title. Kirk Cousins is significantly more proven then Jimmy Garoppolo, and should top Garoppolo’s five-year, $137.5 million deal when he becomes a free agent on March 14. Drew Brees should top Garoppolo’s average annual salary ($27.5 million) in his new deal with the Saints. Next year, both Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers will sign extensions.

Rodgers will top Cousins. Ryan’s average annual salary will likely be similar to or larger than Breese’s. Wilson would be next in line, rightfully asking for upwards of the $30 million per year that Rodgers likely gets. This would put him firmly in a position to sign the largest contract in league history. By signing him to an extension now, the team may be able to save themselves upwards of $5 million per year in the future.

Secondly, the team needs to protect Wilson by investing in an offensive line; once and for all. Trading for left tackle Duane Brown in the middle of last season was a great move (albeit the team sacrificed a lot), and an offseason of reps will do wonders for their chemistry. He needs to be re-signed, as his contract only runs for one more year.

Justin Britt works at center and is signed for another three seasons, but after that, their offensive line is in shambles. Schneider needs to find lineman in the draft and free agency who will be able to (a) run around with Wilson when he scrambles and (b) block so that the team can actually run the ball. Since signing top free agents will cost significantly more money then the team has, the team needs to look for second tier lineman who will be significantly cheaper.

Finally, Schneider needs to rebuild his defense. If he does not succeed and the team fails to win another Super Bowl with Wilson at quarterback, his failed defensive rebuild will be the reason why. Already, he has acquired multiple players who will be future contributors: defensive lineman Frank Clark, Jarran Reed, and Nazair Jones and cornerbacks Shaquill Griffin and Justin Coleman.
This talent alone is not enough.

In the upcoming draft, one safety in particular stands out: Deshon Elliott out of Texas. A mix between Thomas and Chancellor, he is physical, embraces making big hits, and is quarterback of the defense. Van Smith out of Clemson is another possibility; versatile with good anticipation he fits the team’s scheme. To make sure he has some Legion of Boom veterans to mentor younger players, Schneider signed Bradley McDougald to a 3-year, $13.95 million-dollar extension on March 12.

Time will tell whether his rebuild pays off, but it will be necessary for the team to keep their window open and win another Super Bowl.

Seahawks Losing TE Jimmy Graham to the Green Bay Packers

The three-year stint for tight end Jimmy Graham in Seattle is over, as the Green Bay Packers will make it official on Wednesday, inking Graham to a reported three-year deal.

Graham was a favorite target for quarterback Russell Wilson the last three years, last season catching 57 passes and 10 touchdowns. The season before he caught 65 passes for 923 yards and six touchdowns.

Seahawks and Safety Bradley McDougald Agree to Contract Extension

The Seahawks are hoping that Bradley McDougald will have a big future in the Seahawks secondary, and Monday the team inked the safety to a new contract extension.

On Monday, the Seahawks made sure McDougald would be part of that nucleus going forward, signing the versatile safety to a multi-year contract extension just before the start of free agency.

McDougald, 27, joined the Seahawks last year after spending the first four years of his career in Tampa Bay, and despite being a somewhat under-the-radar signing, he was a player whom the Seahawks were very excited about when they acquired him last spring.

And McDougald indeed proved to be an important addition to the team in 2017, beginning the season as a key contributor on special teams while also playing as a third safety in “big nickel” packages, and finishing the season as a starter. One reason the Seahawks liked McDougald was his ability to play both safety spots, and he showed that versatility during the season, starting two games in place of Earl Thomas at free safety when Thomas had a hamstring injury, then finishing the year starting seven straight games for Kam Chancellor at strong safety after Chancellor sustained a season-ending neck injury.

Seahawks to Chat with Recently Released RB DeMarco Murray

The Seahawks are in the market for a running back, and reports from Ian Rapoport state that the Hawks are going to get a visit from 29-year-old recently released running back DeMarco Murray.

As stated Murray also spoke Monday to the Lions, and if neither team signs him there’s going to be a solid market for the running back, who two seasons ago ran for 1287 yards and 9 scores for the Titans.

Former Seahawks CB Richard Sherman Inks with the Rival 49ers

Friday the Seahawks dumped former defensive captain Richard Sherman, and as expected it didn’t take long for him to find a new team.

Many probably didn’t think he’d end up with one of Seattle’s biggest rivals.

Sherman Saturday agreed to a three-year deal with the up and coming San Francisco 49ers, a deal that could come back to bite the Seahawks considering the two teams play each other twice a season.

“I’m thankful to John [Lynch, 49ers GM] and Kyle [Shanahan, 49ers coach] for believing in me,” Sherman told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. “Some smaller details still getting ironed out, but #ShermInTheBay.”

The three-year deal is worth $39 million, with a five million dollar signing bonus.

The 49ers had met with Sherman earlier Saturday and wanted to make sure he is healing well from a torn Achilles in one leg and a bone spur in the other. On Friday, Sherman told Anderson that he will be back running on the treadmill next week.

Sherman and the 49ers both expect that he will be ready for training camp, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who first reported the agreement between the sides


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