Browns DC Gregg Williams defends drafting Denzel Ward over Bradley Chubb
Baker Mayfield wasn’t the only surprise the Cleveland Browns sprung on everyone early in the draft. With the No. 4 pick, they drafted cornerback Denzel Ward over defensive end Bradley Chubb, who was considered a stronger overall prospect and would’ve formed a formidable pass rush duo with last year’s No. 1 pick Myles Garrett.
But as Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams explains to Peter King of The MMQB, drafting Ward was the right move since it fills an important need on his defense:
“The reason is our need for a press cover cornerback,” Williams said. “Denzel probably plays that position as well as anyone I’ve seen in college football in some time. We probably play the most press of any team in the league.”
Williams further justified Ward’s selection by explaining how his ability to jam receivers and delay the ball from getting out quickly will actually help Garrett and the pass rushers get to opposing quarterbacks.
The Browns DC also talked up the talents of defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. Williams describes Ogbah as a “rising star” with “a chance to be Chubb,” which was another major reason why the Browns decided to pass on the NC State product.
In a vacuum, Williams’ reasons for why Ward was selected over Chubb make a decent amount of sense. The Browns had a need based on their style of play, and they picked up a player whom they thought could address that need well.
Regardless of the thought process for why he was drafted, though, Ward will still need to show Browns fans that he was the better pick than Chubb with his performances on the field. But much like Mayfield, it might take a couple of years to find out for sure whether Cleveland actually made the right move.