What an exciting draft for Oregon Duck fans!
Safety TJ Ward, tight end Ed Dickson, and cornerback Walter Thurmond were all taken between rounds two and four.
First, I'll break down each player, how each one will fit in, and then I'll grade the pick itself.
Cleveland Browns, Pick No. 38: TJ Ward, Safety
I think Ward will be able to contribute immediately to the Browns defense. He'll be able to start as a "close to the line safety," causing Abram Elam to become the deep safety.
Cleveland GM Tom Heckert was really impressed with Ward and said, "He's a super tough kid, makes a lot of plays in the run game." And that he does.
Ward is a controversial player because of injuries he's sustained throughout his career.
After injuring his knee in high school, he became a walk-on at Oregon. Then he injured the knee again. But in his last two years, Ward really impressed, especially on special teams.
Even though the pick may seem to have come a bit early, I think you'll see Ward starting on the field next year.
Player Grade: B-
Pick Grade: C
Baltimore Ravens, Pick No. 70: Ed Dickson, TE
Dickson was known as a great receiving tight end, and he'll no doubt fulfill that role next year as well. Todd Heap is a great tight end and now he'll have a complement across from him.
Dickson will give Flacco another option in the passing game, and will give the Ravens an even more dangerous offense.
Will he be a "big name" player next year?
I don't think so—but he should be used quite a bit across from Heap.
Player Grade: A-
Pick Grade: A
Seattle Seahawks, Pick 111: Walter Thurmond, CB
Thurmond is another former Duck battling injury. In fact, he's still recuperating from knee surgery. But Pete Carroll knows Thurmond, and knows how good he is.
Thurmond was a projected first-round pick—around the caliber of Joe Haden—before his injury led his stock to slip. He is said to be fully healed when camp begins in July.
Though Thurmond may not see a role as a cornerback, he will no doubt get special teams action, and maybe even some kick returns.
Thurmond will also be reunited with former teammates Nick Reed and Max Unger in Seattle.
Player Grade: C
Pick Grade: B
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