T.J. Ward (5'10" 211) Free Safety Oregon
The Cleveland Browns have made free safety T.J. Ward the 38th pick in the NFL draft ahead of such highly ranked safeties as Taylor Mays of USC and Chad Jones of LSU.
Ward has struggled with ankle and knee injuries throughout his career, but scouts do like his knockout hitting and secure tackling.
The former Duck is a two-year starter who is an extremely tough, physical big hitter who excels against the run.
Ward is a former cornerback who is praised for having fantastic football instincts and can handle possession receivers in limited coverage but struggles changing direction. He doesn't have very good hands but gets to the balls.
T.J., whose first name is Terrell, is a product of the famed De La Salle (Calif.) High School program where he didn't start until his senior year and then suffered a season-ending knee injury.
After graduating, he walked on at Oregon and suffered a torn MCL in 2006 which required two surgeries to repair. The knee continued to hamper him until 2008.
After having a successful year in 2008 and being named Honorable Mention All Pac 10, the injury-prone Ward next missed five games with an ankle injury in 2009.
He projects as a strong safety in the NFL due to his lack of agility and may challenge for a starting job.
I am not an NFL executive and I do not have the requisite experience to capably pass judgment on what actually goes into a draft selection but I am confused if this was the best available player.