No. 3: Cam Ward (Washington State)
Consider me the leader of the Cam Ward hype train as we inch closer to the 2023 college football season. Once a zero-star recruit with only one scholarship offer, Ward has displayed a special work ethic and substantial improvement each year. He began his career with the lesser-known Incarnate Word program, setting school records en route to a four-star rating in the transfer portal last offseason.
Former UIW head coach, Eric Morris, took his talents to Washington State to serve as the new offensive coordinator in Pullman. He did not arrive alone, as his starting quarterback from the previous two campaigns followed Morris to the Pacific Northwest. The dynamic duo picked up right where they left off.
Ward began the year with shaky results, tossing a slew of bad interceptions in the first month. As he became more comfortable and adjusted to the uptick in talent, the 6-foot-2 signal-caller cleaned up the self-inflicted errors. His touch and mechanics still need more consistency, but there’s reason to believe another step in development will occur in 2023.
Ward’s arm talent is freaky. He possesses a screaming fastball capable of fitting tight windows, plus a deep ball that could take out the International Space Station. He is known for a backyard football play style, which gets the 21-year-old in trouble sometimes. The key for the Cougars, and prospective NFL teams, is consistency. If Morris can smooth out Ward’s rough edges, we are looking at a first-rounder next April.
Best Trait: Improvisation
2024 NFL Draft Grade: Fringe First-Round Pick