1. Denzel Ward, CB
Being the second player in the draft to be selected who wasn’t a quarterback puts Denzel Ward in a position to start next season.
His selection as the No. 4 pick shouldn’t have been all that surprising considering how weak the Browns’ cornerback corps. looked when the dust settled on a 0-16 season.
GM John Dorsey set out to revamp the coverage unit this offseason. He added Damarious Randall, who had played corner in Green Bay to play free safety with the Browns. He shipped Jason McCourty to New England in what was considered a strange move.
Carrie and Gaines make the roster better as a whole, but neither qualify as high impact players with both being toward the bottom of the NFL in forcing completions, according to PFF.
Which Carrie will the Browns get? He two years as a starter offer an inconsistent picture of him as a full-time player. In 2015, PFF tagged Carrie with a 42.3 (bad), but that number jumped to 84.3 in 2017 (really good).
Gaines graded out well last season (86.6), but in 2016, he really struggled with the Rams when his defensive coordinator was none other than current Browns’ defensive boss, Gregg Williams.
Jamar Taylor is still here, too, but with the emergence of Brien Boddy-Calhoun in the slot, Taylor ay find it difficult to get on the field.
Denzel Ward is a top-4 pick who brings speed and an already polished set of coverage skills to Cleveland. HIs 5-10, 185-pound frame is something to be concerned about, but being that high of a draft pick ensures the Nordonia High School product will see some series time as a starter in 2018.