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Top 5 NFL draft pick already injured - report

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While many were surprised when the Cleveland Browns selected quarterback Baker Mayfield first overall in last month’s draft, their next choice also raised eyebrows.

At No. 4 overall, the Browns passed on highly touted N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb and instead took Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

While many experts acknowledged Ward is a quality player, they thought Cleveland could have gotten more value from the pick.

“If the Browns didn’t want Chubb, there were undoubtedly a slew of teams who would have jumped at the chance to trade up and grab him, knowing that the Denver Broncos were certain to select him should he fall to 5,” said Seth Dunlap of WWL.com. “Chubb was considered by most a more can’t miss guy, and by everybody as the best edge rusher in this year’s draft — a position that is always at high demand.

“That is a huge missed opportunity. Yes, Ward may turn out to be a fine player, but it’s hard to say the Browns did anything but completely bungle their picks at the top of the NFL Draft. The Browns will be the Browns, I suppose.”

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Added Mark Maske of The Washington Post: “The Browns, even with a new regime and a new GM in John Dorsey, are still the Browns. They could have taken Bradley Chubb to pair with Myles Garrett as book-end pass rushers. Instead, they go with cornerback Denzel Ward. … It’s difficult to believe that the Browns maximized the value of these picks.”

Ward didn’t do anything to change the minds of the naysayers during the team’s three-day rookie minicamp.

On the first day, Friday, the cornerback suffered a hip flexor strain. He was held out of practice Saturday.

Long-suffering Browns fans immediately went into gloom mode.

Ward struggled Friday before he left the field. During one-on-one drills, he was covering receiver Tony Morris from Heidelberg University — a tiny Division III school in Ohio — when he was beaten deep.

“Morris got behind Ward for a deep reception, which was surprising considering Ward tied for the fastest 40 time at the NFL combine in March at 4.32 seconds,” wrote Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

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Do you think the Browns made a mistake by selecting Ward at No. 4 overall?

During Saturday’s practice, Ward worked with trainers and rode a stationary bike.

Browns coach Hue Jackson said it was just a precautionary move.

“I do not think being out here and having a guy if there is anything that we feel that might hurt a guy, I am going to make sure that I take him out,” Jackson said Friday via the Browns website.

Cleveland fans can only hope Ward will silence his critics by staying healthy and playing to the level of a No. 4 pick.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Birthplace
Baltimore
Education
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Media, Sports




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