The Philadelphia Eagles signed Houston quarterback Greg Ward as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. Ward is now transitioning to wide receiver at the professional level. In order to learn more about the new Eagles pass catcher, I reached out to SB Nation's multi-conference college football blog: Underdog Dynasty. Cougars writer Joey Broback was kind enough to answer my questions.
1) Can you sum up what his college career was like?
Thrilling, Greg was the type of player that could change the game at quarterback. He was sent to receiver in his sophomore season, but that didn’t last as quarterback health diminished quickly. His ability to create plays with his legs allowed Houston’s offense to become dynamic regardless of coaching. He led the Cougars to a 13-1 finish in 2015 that included a Peach Bowl win over #9 Florida State 38-24. People always knew to watch #1, and defensive coordinators always were trying to find ways to stop him.
2) What are his strengths?
The biggest strength that will help Ward transition to receiver is his natural athleticism. His agility and speed helped him avoid being sacked in college, but now it will be to avoid tackles downfield. Even if he stayed at quarterback in college, he would have excelled at that position as well. Ward’s time playing quarterback allowed him to improve his vision. His ability to avoid pressure and keep his eyes downfield at the same time showed he has great awareness of anything around him. I think one thing that also benefits Ward is that he was a running quarterback, which added durability. Fans shouldn’t have to worry about him getting hit since he took hits in college. An adjustment to ball security won’t be difficult either, as he learned that skill thanks to his dual threat abilities.
3) What are his weaknesses?
Experience and size. Ward obviously played quarterback in college, so his lack of experience puts him behind others NFL prospects. He will have to learn (or rather relearn) the nuances of being a receiver. Anything from how to position his body to route trees will be relatively new concepts to him. However, his time at quarterback will help him learn quickly, as he had to know those in his time as the Cougars signal caller. Next, size. Ward is 5’11” and 185 pounds soaking wet. When you watch film on him, you notice that he isn’t very big. Adding some mass to his frame will be essential to preventing future injuries.
4) Are you surprised he went undrafted?
Honestly, I’m not surprised at all. It’s very difficult to justify selecting a player switching positions like this. It’s becoming more common to see quarterbacks switch to receiver, but a low percentage pan out in the NFL. I’m sure he was considered in the later rounds, but teams decided to fill other needs instead.
5) How do you see his NFL career playing out? Especially now that he’s moving to WR instead of QB
I am optimistic for him. He already has the footwork to become a good receiver, the question will be about his hands. If he can make a quick transition, and I’m sure he’s working hard in the offseason to do so, he can be a starter. Like any quarterback making the switch, he has a lot of obstacles in front of him, but I have no doubt he can overcome any adversity thrown his way.