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Browns CB Denzel Ward conference call - 4/26

Posted Apr 26, 2018

Former Ohio State corner meets the press

On being drafted by his hometown team:

“It is amazing. It is a blessing. This has been my childhood dream just to get here to the NFL draft. To be drafted by the Browns and be able to go back to my hometown and play there, it is just a blessing. I am just so excited to get there and get to work.”

On if he had a feeling that the Browns would draft him at No. 4 and what it means to be a top-five draft pick:

“Yeah, I kind of knew a little bit. I did not know exactly, but just what the coaches were telling me. They had a lot of faith in me and that they were leaning towards drafting me. It is an honor to be drafted at the pick that I was picked at fourth in the entire draft. It is great. I am ready to get to work.”

On the tradition of Ohio State DBs selected in the first round:

“When I was getting recruited, (Ohio State Head) Coach (Urban Meyer) called and I remember him saying that he was going to coach first-round draft picks and we were going to win championships. That kind of got me to Ohio State. When getting there, Coach Meyer and all of those guys, they got a standard set for us and they expect nothing less than a first round draft pick and get guys to the league and be able to produce. It is definitely an honor.”

On the challenge transitioning from college to the NFL:

“I love corner. The thing about corner is that it is man on man. It is you versus the man across from you. I love that competitive nature and what guys bring to the table. To be on the field with those guys that you know you are competing with and knowing that you have to make a play. I am just excited about that.”

On QB Baker Mayfield when preparing to play against him at Ohio State:

“He is a great quarterback. Going against him and the preparation against him, we knew that he definitely was a mobile quarterback so we knew that we had to be on our guys a little longer and cover a little longer. You just have to know that and to stay on your guy and do not get your eyes off of your guy.”

On preparing for Southern California QB Sam Darnold after playing him at Ohio State:

“Our guys did. I did not play in that game. That was the 2017 Cotton Bowl. Darnold, he looked like a very good quarterback, as well.”

On how he makes up for being a great player without being as tall as other great CBs:

“Definitely my speed. It is all about timing playing the cornerback position. Even though I may not be the ideal size or height that some people might like, but if you talk about timing and being on one side of the receiver if the ball gets to his hands and getting through his hands or tacking the football. I would say timing. I feel like I have a natural instinct to find the ball and play through the receivers hands.”

On living up to the pressure and expectations of being the No. 4 pick:

“I am very confident in my ability. I am looking forward to that pressure. Being at Ohio State, there was pressure all the time there. Everybody is on edge there so it is kind of nothing new having that pressure on me, and I look forward to taking that challenge and seeing what I can do at the next level.”

On his pre-draft visit during the Browns’ local Pro Day and conversations with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams:

“Yes, I did have a visit with the Browns, and it was exciting. I went to the facilities, and they showed me around. I met all of their coaches. I met with (defensive backs) Coach (DeWayne) Walker, he and I watched film, watched their film and their tape, focusing on technique and talking about some of the things I could work on, as well. I had a good feeling with the Browns and meeting with their whole staff.”

On thinking he was going to be picked by the Browns after his visit:

“No, I didn’t. I honestly didn’t know who was going to pick me, but I am glad it was the team that did.”

On his excitement to help turn the Browns franchise around as a local player:

“It is an honor because they are definitely trusting in me to kind of help be on the wave of turning the system around. I look forward to that challenge. I look forward to any challenge that people place on me, and I feel that I will end up on top.”

On receiving advice from other Buckeye defensive backs already in the NFL, including Gareon Conley, Marshawn Lattimore and Eli Apple:

“I talked to those guys like every day. They gave me advice throughout the whole process. When I get drafted, they made sure I would hit the playbook immediately because you have certain timeframes that you have to learn the system so I definitely plan on doing that.” 

On being prepared for the NFL and expectations for his rookie year:

“I definitely feel that I am prepared. I feel like there are a lot of things that I have to work on, but do I feel like I could come to the Browns and help this team win games.”

On advice from speaking to Apple regarding on-field and off-field matters, given Apple’s season:

“You will have to ask him about some of his off-the-field issues he had had. I did not ask him much about that. On the field, he talked about staying consistent and learning the playbook and learning to play the next play.”

On his respect for Mayfield on the field and his impressions of him in regards to the flag-planting at Ohio State:

“I definitely love and respect baker Mayfield’s competitive nature. I obviously did not like that planting of the flag at Ohio State, but we are on the same team now. We have got a new mission to accomplish.”

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