NFL draft 2018 CB rankings: Denzel Ward is class of deep group
The top cornerback prospects entering the 2018 NFL draft:
1. Denzel Ward, Ohio State (5-11, 183): The Buckeyes have produced three first-round corners in the past two drafts (Marshon Lattimore, Gareon Conley and Eli Apple), and Ward is next in the pipeline after being named a first-team All-American in 2017.
4. Isaiah Oliver, Colorado (6-0, 201): A standout decathlete, he has athleticism NFL teams crave. Oliver has the size to excel as a press corner and the speed to close when the ball is in the air. His footwork, however, leaves him vulnerable to sudden changes of direction, and he must improve his route recognition. Projected: Round 1-2
5. Mike Hughes, Central Florida (5-11, 191): After starting his career at North Carolina and transferring to junior college, he was one of the breakout stars of the Knights’ undefeated season. His rugged, relentless approach in press coverage is not what one might expect given his stout frame. Certain teams might not see Hughes as a fit given his height and length, as well as his potential problems adapting to off coverage, but he’ll contribute early as a returner at minimum. Projected: Round 1-2
A slight-framed, injury-prone quarterback who can’t move in the pocket? That scares teams.
But scouting is looking at the trees and understanding the forest.
Rosen has his warts—as does every quarterback in this class—but he also has mechanics that make evaluators drool and the best accuracy of any passer in the group. And he might have an Aaron Rodgers-like chip on his shoulder that allows him to somehow get better the more teams hit him.
There is enough on his tape for scouts to consider him the best quarterback in the class.
And to worry he’ll get them all fired.