Draft Profile of Tampa Bay’s Potential 1st Round Pick – Denzel Ward


With the Buccaneers needing plenty of help in the defensive backfield, Denzel Ward, cornerback out of Ohio State University, could easily be the one picked by the Bucs in the first round of this year’s draft. Ward is the best cornerback coming out of college this year and he will most likely be the first one to come off the board.

At 5’10”, Ward has average size for the position, he weighs 191 lbs and is very fast, which he proved when he ran the 40-Yard dash at the combine in 4.32 seconds. He should be able to keep up with the speed of the top Wide Receivers in the NFL. His athleticism is extraordinary and he excels at reading and anticipating his opposing Receiver’s routes, which explains his 15 pass breakups last year. Plays better in man-coverage than zone-coverage. Denzel Ward has good ball skills and a great work ethic. Additionally, he is extremely disciplined on and off the field. His quickness, great footwork and hip flexibility make it hard for Wide Receivers to create any kind of separation.

On the downside, he could bulk up a little bit. Does not play physical and gets pushed around and engaged too much by big Wide Receivers on run plays. Outside of his small frame, however, Ward does not have many flaws.

Conclusively, Denzel Ward would be a huge addition to the Buccaneers’ weak secondary. He would certainly be a starter by Week 1 and has all the tools necessary to be just as successful as Marshon Lattimore, his former teammate at Ohio State. Adding a great cornerback to the team is a must for the Buccaneers in this draft, as they have not made any additions in that department via Free Agency. Granted, the newly improved pass rush will automatically make our secondary look better, but adding another solid cornerback is absolutely inevitable, especially if you play in a pass-happy division and have to go against Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton twice a year.