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Football: Denzel Ward selected No. 4 overall by the Cleveland Browns

Ohio State junior cornerback Denzel Ward (12) takes down a Badger in the third quarter of the B1G Championship game against Wisconsin on Dec. 2 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State won 27-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State continues to churn out first-round cornerbacks.

Former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward has been drafted with the fourth pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Ward was the first Buckeye taken in the draft, and is the third Ohio State cornerback to be drafted within the top 15 picks in the last three years. Ohio State saw former corner Marshon Lattimore picked by the New Orleans Saints at 11th and Gareon Conley to the Oakland Raiders at 24th in 2017. Eli Apple was selected 10th overall by the New York Giants in 2016.

The former Buckeye was a consensus All-American last season and finished his junior year with 15 passes defended and 37 tackles to go along with a pair of interceptions.

Ward led an Ohio State secondary that allowed the 17th fewest passing yards per game (183.5) and 16th lowest quarterback rating (111.7) of all Division I schools.

Ward declared for the NFL draft moments prior to Ohio State’s victory over USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29 with a tweet saying he would sit out the bowl game to prepare for his future.

At the NFL combine, Ward tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.32 seconds. He also finished first among defensive backs in broad jump (136.0 inches), second in vertical jump (39.5 inches) and top 10 in bench press reps (16).

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