Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey defended the team's decision to select Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward over North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the fourth overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Dorsey told 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland on Tuesday that both players graded equally before Ward got the nod based on the Browns' need at the position.
"We've totally upgraded the secondary there with unrestricted free agent acquisitions and trades," Dorsey said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "And then we attacked it also in the draft. I'm very pleased with Denzel Ward, great kid, loves the game of football, wonderful family. Now he's got the physical features you look for in a shutdown corner.
"He's got the long vertical speed, he's got sudden-area explosive quickness that you like in those types of players, he's got great ball skills. And I see his ceiling of growth, I see it as really high. "
"The reason is our need for a press cover cornerback," Browns defensive coordinator Gregg Williams said to The MMQB's Peter King. "Denzel probably plays that position as well as anyone I've seen in college football in some time. We probably play the most press of any team in the league."
Ward fills an immediate need for a team that surrendered 28 touchdown passes and finished 31st in points allowed last season.
The 5-foot-11, 183-pound Ward projects as an immediate starter on the left side for the Browns. Ward, who has the speed to stay with the top receivers in the NFL, intercepted two passes in each of the last two seasons at Ohio State.
Chubb, who was rated the top defensive player by NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang, was selected by the Denver Broncos with the fifth overall pick.
The 6-foot-4, 259-pound Chubb registered 10 sacks in each of his last two seasons at North Carolina State, giving Denver an embarrassment of pass-rushing riches.
Chubb will join a unit featuring linebacker Von Miller, the MVP of Super Bowl 50 who has amassed 83.5 sacks over seven NFL seasons.