5 Cleveland Browns who are certified building blocks for the future

- Deshaun Watson the franchise QB

- Myles Garrett the elite difference maker on D

- Who else is a building block for the future of the Cleveland Browns?

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Cleveland Browns / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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3. Denzel Ward, CB

In today's NFL, very few positions are as important as the cornerback position. Although Myles Garrett might beg to differ, you simply can't hit the quarterback like you used to be able to. Better coverage is a requirement and having a player like Denzel Ward is a necessary luxury.

Does that even make sense?

You simply don't get guys like this coming around all that often. Ward is entering his sixth NFL season in 2023 and yet is only going to be 26 this year. He's got multiple interceptions in every year of his NFL career, multiple Pro Bowl nods, and quite frankly, he's gone underrated through it all.

Pro Football Focus ranked the top 32 cornerbacks

in the NFL as of last season, and ranked Ward as the 14th-best corner overall. Here's what they had to say:

"Ward is coming off a subpar season for the Browns, but the defense as a whole collapsed and likely heavily contributed to that. Ward still had multiple elite games in 2022 and had shown a very high baseline of play before that year. With a rebuilt Browns defensive line in 2023, Ward might put himself back among the very best."

Pro Football Focus

If Ward did, indeed, have a "down" year in 2022, I think it's reasonable to expect him to turn it up a notch in 2023 as the Cleveland Browns perhaps enjoy a bit more success as a team. When you talk about building blocks for the future, there's no doubt that the former Pro Bowl cornerback who has been consistently good is exactly that.