Ward’s absolute best trait is his athleticism. Ward can move and change direction very fluidly. He has great burst that allow him to close on the ball or catch up if the WR gets by him. He ran a 4.32 forty-yard dash at the combine. Over the last two seasons at OSU, Ward allowed only a 32% completion percentage. He has very good ball skills and hands. Bottom line is Ward is a tremendous cover guy, but leaves some to be desired in the run game.
Like I said before his ball and cover skills are NFL ready and when he is picked he will contribute right away. Where he lacks is in the run game and being physical with WR’s. Ward is 5’10 and 190 lbs. That frame is a little small, especially with how big some of the WR’s are in the NFL today. His lack of size and strength makes it harder for him to press and jam WR’s at the line of scrimmage in coverage. That also causes him to struggle separating from blocking WR’s in run defense. He also struggles tackling bigger backs.
When will he be drafted?
In my opinion and the opinion of many scouts that know more than I do, Ward is the best corner in this year’s draft. His strong combine solidified him as an early first round pick. I know crazy stuff happens every draft day, but pending something like that happening, Ward will most likely be gone in the top 10-12.
How does he fit the Packers?
Ward is exactly what the Packers need. They actually need him desperately. The only problem is they’ll have to pony up for him. They have 12 picks in the coming draft, plenty of firepower to move up if they so choose. If the Packers can find a way to get Ward, he will be a contributor from day one.