Cam Ward is one of only three quarterbacks named by CBS Sports in their "Early look at the top 20 NFL draft-eligible college football players taking the field in 2024 season." The players were listed in order of position, starting with QBs.
Carson Beck of Georgia and Quinn Ewers of Texas were the other two QBs named by Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports, who summarized the top 20 2025 NFL draft-eligible college football players. Ward is a consensus top-three transfer QB in 2024. There are only two other transfers mentioned on the CBS Sports list.
Mississippi defensive tackle Walter Nolen and Oregon wide receiver Evan Stewart each transferred from Texas A&M for the 2024 season. Ward is currently projected as the seventh pick in 2025 by the NFL Mock Draft Database. Ward has moved up after being projected as the 22nd-best prospect on January 2.
Miami and Ward should be a perfect fit. The Hurricanes needed more experience at QB after losing Tyler Van Dyke as a transfer to Wisconsin. Jacurri Brown and Emory Williams have four combined starts in their college careers. Ward has an opportunity to develop another year in college under Miami offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson.
"Cam Ward, QB, Miami: Ward nearly declared for the draft this year but was lured to Miami, where he'll have a chance to improve his stock with a Hurricanes team looking to compete for an ACC title. Ward has been inconsistent at times but had a strong season with Washington State. He has the ability to make something out of nothing that few others possess."- Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports
Dawson runs a modified version of the Air Raid offense. Ward played in the Air Raid at Washington State in the last two seasons under Jake Dickert. Ward leads all returning quarterbacks in college football, averaging 311.1 passing yards per game in 2023. Ward needs to decrease fumbles and become more consistent in 2024.
Ward lost seven fumbles in 2023. That was the most in FBS. Ward had two 400-yard games in 2023. That includes 438 passing yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in a 38-24 loss at then number six Oregon in October. The loss to Oregon was the third of a six-game Washington State losing streak.
Ward also had consecutive games below 200 yards passing as Washington State scored a combined 23 points in losses to UCLA and Arizona. Ward closed the season strong. In the final three games of the 2023 season, Ward averaged 319.67 passing yards per game with eight TDs and three interceptions.
The 2024 Miami pass offense is difficult to grade. Brown started the Pinstripe Bowl versus Rutgers after Williams was hurt versus Florida State in November and Van Dyke opted out at the end of the regular season. The Pinstripe Bowl was Brown's only start and Williams started twice last season.
Miami and Ward have a difficult test to begin the season at Florida. The Gators and Hurricanes have each underachieved in the last two seasons under new coaching staffs. Billy Napier of Florida and Mario Cristobal with Miami will each seek an early season momentum-building win on August 31 in Gainesville.