Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
I’m sure many of you have seen the movie Draft Day. Once you sift through all the drama and bullshit you will note the true message of the movie. No, it isn’t that the Browns are a joke. It’s that GMs are forced into pressure situations by their team owners to make a splash even if it goes against their better judgment. That was the battle Sonny Weaver Jr fought through. The Bills owner Terry Pegula, much like Anthony Molina in the movie, was all excited and ready to draft the QB with all the traits you could ask for. The jersey was screen-printed and everything with the player’s name written on the back. He was ready to hand over the future of the Bills to Josh Allen.
But I wasn’t.
With all of Buffalo and their owner celebrating that we are going to get Josh freaking Allen without having to trade up, I go over the tape and the stats one last time to confirm my doubts. Allen’s career line at Wyoming: 56.2% completion rate, 7.8 yards per attempt, 44 touchdowns to 21 interceptions, and a 137.7 rating. Joe Flacco is the only non-power QB in this millennium to see any success with similarly poor numbers. Despite his arm strength and easy schedules, he only once finished with over 300 yards in a game was a 3OT loss to UNLV where he only completed 45% of his passes. He struggled vs average to poor Power-5 teams. 50% completion rate, 142 yards per game, 1 TD and 8 interceptions.
Allen has the arm strength, the size, the sexy spiral you’d want in a QB but he has red flags when it comes to performance on the field and the stat sheet that can’t be ignored. Accuracy doesn’t improve often when you go to the pros and if it does it likely won’t increase enough. Make no mistake, he is an interesting project, but he needs to sit at least a whole season behind an established QB to learn and improve his game. Behind AJ McCarron or even worse, starting, is not where you want him. Instead just like in the movie I pass on the sexy QB that the owner wants. I would much rather take Mason Rudolph here and I think he is worth the pick, but the Bills can surely get him or Lamar Jackson at 22 and the Bills will be better for it. So, also just like in the movie, I select the Ohio State defenseman instead. I’m going with Denzel Ward.
Ward is not only the best player available in the draft, he also arguably addresses the Bills’ biggest need outside of quarterback. But wait you say the Bills don’t need a corner that badly do they? Let’s see who is returning… Rookie Tre’Davious White and a couple nobodies they claimed off waivers and stole off a practice squad. But wait how did this happen? Don’t they have Ronald Darby? Oh ya he won a Super Bowl last year and I don’t see the Bills with one. Well they did essentially do a 3-way trade with the Rams when they got rid of Darby and got E.J. Gaines out of the deal. He was pretty good. Hey look, they got Gaines on the roster for this year. Oh wait, no they don’t. That is Phillip Gaines. A guy they signed for peanuts on a 1-year deal who played in less than 40% of snaps and only started 3 games in injury-relief last season. They also signed Vontae Davis, a corner on a horrid Colts defense that was injured for most of the year and only signed a 1-year prove-it deal. So that’s last year’s rookie plus the wrong Gaines, a banged-up Colt with the last 2 on 1-year deals, and some scrubs. Ya, the Bills need a corner badly for this year and especially next.
So, I have established that Josh Allen is not the answer and that cornerback is the biggest need after QB. So why is Denzel Ward the best fit. Why is he the best player available? He has the instincts, the athleticism, the twitch and the drive to stay on anybody. He is a very intelligent and competitive individual who seems to always find a way to break up a pass whenever someone dares to throw the ball his way. He is very physical despite his size. The only knocks on him are his size but his speed, 39” vertical and 136” broad jump mitigate that risk tremendously. He will only get better when he bulks up. With added bulk will also come an improvement in the run game. He also has speed to spare so it will not be an issue. He ran a 4.32 at the combine. Speed and size are nice, but speed, instincts and intelligence along with a drive to compete go much farther. Denzel Ward will be a franchise cornerstone.
Now I have my owner here who flew back from Dallas at an impossible speed (like in the movie) trying to get an explanation out of me. I’ll be preoccupied with him so I’m gonna let BeamerWentzorBentley step in and make pick #22 when the Bills are up again. Hopefully he drafts a non-Allen QB and the master plan comes together.
Do you approve of this pick?
This poll is closed
2018 BGN Community Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (GMinTraining): Saquon Barkley
2) Giants (ablesser88): Quenton Nelson
3) Jets (20Safety_Hazards): Sam Darnold
4) Browns (MJ1893): Josh Rosen
5) Broncos (drc242): Baker Mayfield
6) Colts (I Need a Username): Bradley Chubb
7) Buccaneers (dunc123): Minkah Fitzpatrick
8) Bears (NVEagleShark): Tremaine Edmunds
9) 49ers (Doug Pederson’s Pair of Balls): Calvin Ridley
10) Raiders (Milehighbirds): Derwin James
11) Dolphins (danishdynamite_): Roquan Smith
12) Bills (LAOJoe): Denzel Ward
13) Washington (Eagle1987):
14) Packers (89Tremaine):
15) Cardinals (TJ “Ben Simmons” Mcconnell):
17) Chargers (LBCeaglesFan!):
18) Seahawks (KEZHOG):
19) Cowboys (Brawnybalboa):
20) Lions (dshelton5):
21) Bengals (Palaniappan K M):
22) Bills (BeamerWentzorBentley):
23) Patriots (jy1187):
24) Panthers (dceagles):
25) Titans (ei78):
26) Falcons (SakPrescott):
27) Saints (MidMajorMatt):
28) Steelers (SummersInVA):
29) Jaguars (RecarTabmok):
30) Vikings (AnthroEagle):
31) Patriots (PhilaWolverine):
32) Eagles (JALupowitz):
Now it’s time for you to vote for who YOU think the Bills should pick in the 2018 BGN Consensus Mock Draft.
Who should the Bills draft at No. 12 overall?
This poll is closed
1) Browns: Saquon Barkley
2) Giants: Sam Darnold
3) Jets: Josh Rosen
4) Browns: Josh Allen
5) Broncos: Baker Mayfield
6) Colts: Bradley Chubb
7) Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick
8) Bears: Quenton Nelson
9) 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds
10) Raiders: Derwin James
11) Dolphins: Roquan Smith