The Cleveland Browns signed wide receiver JoJo Ward on Thursday.
To make room on the roster for Ward, the club released defensive tackle Damion Square, who the team signed in May after Square spent seven seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.
The 5-foot-9 and 175-pound Ward went undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft before signing with the Arizona Cardinals. He was with the Cardinals throughout training camp, was waived and then spent the season on Arizona’s practice squad.
Ward played collegiately at Hawaii, where he was a second-team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a junior after finishing with 65 receptions for 1,134 yards and 11 touchdowns. He spent two seasons with the Rainbow Warriors after joining the team as a walk-on in 2018. Ward played in 29 games, finishing with 116 catches, including 24 of 25 yards or more, for 1,999 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.
According to a 2020 draft profile from Mountain West Wire, Ward’s game is based on speed as he reportedly clocked 40-yard times below 4.5 seconds in training:
Speed, speed, speed. Ward proved that he could definitely go and get it when the occasion called for it, but he also showed that he could break away from defensive backs for a big play, as well, which explains why he led the Mountain West, and one of just 12 pass catchers in the entire FBS, with 13 catches of 30-plus yards in 2019.
Ward also possesses sound footwork and he’s able to create space for that extra yard or two or, in some instances, elude flatfooted defenders on curls and outs, which makes him more than just a one-trick pony.
It is hard to see Ward finding a roster spot at wide receiver given the players already on Cleveland’s roster, but he might be able to at least catch some attention in the return game if he is as fast as advertised.