The 2024 NFL Draft is still months away, but the hype surrounding this batch of quarterbacks is hard to quantify. Cam Ward is one of the many names vying for first-round status next April. So far, he is off to a phenomenal start.
Dating back to his time at Incarnate Word, Cam Ward has been a fixture on any sleeper article I have published. The former zero-star recruit made a name for himself at the lesser-known Texas college, setting countless school records and nearly leading the Cardinals to an FCS title during his time as the starter.
Cam Ward: From Forgotten Man To The Talk Of The Town
Ward entered the transfer portal prior to the 2022 college football campaign, but his name wasn’t on the open market very long. He followed his former head coach, Eric Morris, to Pullman, Washington. Morris, the newly named offensive coordinator for Washington State, was the only coach willing to give Ward a shot out of high school.
Together, the duo continued their success at the FBS level. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows in Year 1 with the Cougars, as Ward’s mechanics remained raw, and the jump in competition brought more learning curves than once anticipated. But by the final month of the year, the young signal-caller found his groove.
Ward dealt with another major change this past offseason, as Eric Morris took a job as the North Texas head coach. In his place, former Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Ben Arbuckle assumed the same position for Washington State. And Ward hasn’t missed a beat.
In fact, the Wazzu star has cemented himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12. Scratch that. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the entire country, not just his conference.
2024 NFL Draft: Ward Is Playing His Way Into Early-Round Consideration
In 2023, Ward’s numbers are off the charts. He has completed nearly 75 percent of his passes on the year, with 1,393 yards through the air and 13 passing touchdowns. The versatile playmaker also has 160 yards on the ground, including three more touchdowns with his legs.
Perhaps the most impressive part? Ward has yet to throw an interception — or even come close to throwing one. For a prospect that gets mislabeled as turnover-prone, he only has one interception over his past ten games with Washington State. Now, fumbles have been an issue. He must show some better ball security, but all in all, Ward knows how to take care of the football.
His mechanics have greatly improved since last season, and are a night and day difference compared to his Incarnate Word tape. You can see the work he put in with his lower half, as he now consistently squares up to his target and has eliminated some of the “happy feet” tendencies inside the pocket.
Cam Ward is still “my guy” in the 2024 NFL Draft, but if his play stays at this level, he will become several people’s “guy” — if he isn’t already. At 6-foot-2, 223 pounds, and possessing franchise-cornerstone traits, analysts around the country are starting to wake up.
From zero-star recruit to NFL Draft sleeper to… bonafide first-round pick? Don’t be surprised if Ward earns his way into an early selection next April. All the signs are there as he continues to rise up draft boards everywhere.