After having his best season for the Buckeyes in 2017, Denzel Ward is on his way to taking the next step in his playing career. Ward is one of the top cornerbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and there will be plenty of teams that will keep a close eye on him as each pick passes by.
However, according to Todd McShay’s latest mock draft, Ward will not be available in the draft for very long. McShay released his third mock draft for the 2018 NFL Draft on Wednesday, and he has Ward as a top-10 pick. The ESPN analyst predicted that Ward will be taken with the No. 8 overall pick by the Chicago Bears.
While the Bears need help at several positions, especially at the wide receiver position, McShay believes that there are too many talented players that the Bears would draft over his top-ranked wideout Calvin Ridley. McShay says that the Bears will need a cornerback whether they are able to keep Kyle Fuller or not, and that Ward is that player.
“Calvin Ridley is still my top-ranked WR, but he had a mixed combine workout. The Bears do need playmakers on the outside for second-year QB Mitchell Trubisky, but right now, there are simply too many higher-graded players on the board. Even if Chicago keeps Kyle Fuller (it placed the transition tag on him), the Bears need a lockdown CB. Ward is that guy, and his blazing 4.32 40 cemented his spot as the No. 1 CB in this draft.”
Although Ward had to limit himself at the NFL Combine due to a tweaked ankle, he still did enough to display his athleticism. In the 40-yard dash, Ward finished with a time of 4.32 seconds, which is tied for the fastest time at this year’s combine. In addition, Ward bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times.
The 5-foot-10, 191-pound Ward recorded 47 tackles, 2 of which were tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions in 29 total games at Ohio State.
The 2018 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 26.