I have always enjoyed watching the play of Houston’s 2017 NFL Draft prospect, quarterback Greg Ward Jr, his blistering speed, elusiveness, electric turn of pace and ability to make would-be tacklers grasp thin air as he cut laterally in a manner that seemed almost unfair to his opponents.
His performance in particular in the home AAC Championship game when faced with a defensive juggernaut in Temple was outstanding. His athleticism, vision and patience making NFL draft picks Tyler Makatevich, one of the finest linebackers in college football and strong inside defensive line presence Matt Ioannidis look on helplessly at times.
NFL Draft 2017: Senior Ward Jr has destroyed countless defences with his outstanding running ability during his Cougars career
(Greg Levey/Getty Images)
Added with his impressive stat line (232/345 – 67% – 2,828 – 17/6 + Rush 198 – 1,108 – 21) led me this offseason, to peg the Tyler, Texas native as a running back prospect for the 2017 NFL Draft and a very good one at that. However, his performance in leading the Cougars to a famous and not wholly surprising victory over Big-12 favourites Oklahoma, outduelling his opposite number Baker Mayfield at the NRG Stadium in Houston opened not just mine, but eyes across college football.
Ward Jr’s growth as a passer blew me away and surprised in equla measure, so much so that he even at times climbed the pocket to throw a dart to his receivers. While he may be a quiet, unassuming young man with a slight frame, he more than makes up for with his toughness, tenacity, intelligence and sheer bravery, perfectly prepared to give up his body and take the hit to get the ball where it needed to be, each time getting up immediately to his feet. His play characterised his team-first temperament and courage. Despite missing ona few of his early throws, Ward Jr soon found his spot, placing the ball on the back shoulder of his receivers with good touch and velocity, while also sensibly throwing the ball away when things went awry.
Of course, his outstanding athleticism and deceptive ability on the move to extend plays had a strong Sooners defence bamboozled at times. If he can maintain his progress this season, he will undoubtedly put himself in the frame for not only the Heisman Trophy but also a high draft pick come April. If he continues to display the throwing ability he did at the home of Texans throughout the campaign, NFL teams will be quieing up to tale a game changer of his calibre.
Feature Image Credit: Justin Tigerina/The Cougar
If you enjoyed this you can read our scouting reports on all the eligible draft prospects in the 2017 edition of our NFL Draft Guide, available <span style=”color: #ff0000;”><a style=”color: #ff0000;” href=”http://www.ukdraftguide.com/nfl-draft-guide”>here</a></span> from the 1st April (All proceeds are donated to Muscular Dystrophy UK) (£5). Take a look <span style=”color: #ff0000;”><a style=”color: #ff0000;” href=”http://www.ukdraftguide.com/nfl-draft-guide”>inside</a></span> for previews and see what our readers think of Europe’s only scouting guide to the NFL Draft.
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