The Browns CB is ready to take the next step
When the Cleveland Browns drafted Denzel Ward fourth overall, they anticipated that they would get a generational talent at cornerback. Needless to say, the Browns organization just selected the rare position (CB) in the Top 5 of the draft.
Ward showed that he was a gifted player in year one of his career, as he earned a Pro Bowl nod. Nonetheless, the CB hasn’t proven to be All-Pro, one of the top players at his position, or the next Deion Sanders.
Headed into the 2021 season, there’s plenty of reason to believe Ward will elevate his game to be one of the NFL’s top CBs. Here is why Ward is ready to be a great CB for the Browns and why he will make it easier to forget Joe Haden exiting the building.
A healthy Ward
In Ward’s short career to this point, he’s missed a whopping 11 career games. Ward has been victim to lingering injuries in each season (groin pulls, concussions). An injury that derailed him early on was a poor tackle attempt that resulted in a concussion. Former Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams controversially alluded to Ward’s tackling style as “stupid”.
Ward has developed his techniques and learned how to avoid unnecessary hits to the head throughout his career. His legs are also reported to be in the top condition to this point.
It’s worth noting that CBs are fiery breeds among all position groups. They routinely play through minor injuries. The Browns will undoubtedly be in contention for playoffs and potentially the first seed. Expect Ward to perceive through any less potential injury throughout the later season.
Potentially the top pass rush in the NFL
The Browns possess a defense featuring a DPOY candidate in Myles Garrett, who is coming off an impressive 12 sack performance in 14 games. At 25 years old, expect Garrett to likely register a career season in 2021. Not only is Garrett firing off the edge of the Browns defense, but a second number one overall pick is ready to harass quarterbacks.
The Browns brought in Jadeveon Clowney, who is entering the biggest prove it season of his career. Clowney signed a one year – 10 million deal with the Dogpound in the last free agency period.
Clowney will not only be motivated by being in the same locker room as Garrett, but there will be a vast number of one-on-one opportunities for the player known for laying a vicious hit against Michigan.
Baker Mayfield has already taken notice of the Browns edge rushing duo. Per Browns Wire, Mayfield famously said “Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney would not be fun to go against”.
Contract season for Ward
The former Buckeye that holds a lot of talent is essentially entering the most pivotal season of his career. Ward doesn’t only have his sights set on winning a Super Bowl, but he has a lot of moolah to play for.
Ward is going into his contract season.
If Ward fails to show his worth to the Browns, it would be a hefty risk to break the bank for himself. If the former Top 5 pick unleashes an elite season of play, he likely will be the highest paid CB in the league. Let’s face it, every player has a bigger chip on their shoulder in a contract year. A contract season often equates to perceiving through minor injury issues, pushing harder to the end of games, and blatantly breathing more fire day in and day out.