As a Juco product, Ward started his collegiate football career at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, before transferring to Middle Tennessee State University. Despite producing 138 total tackles and six interceptions throughout his entire collegiate career, Ward was not invited to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. The cornerback garnered attention from scouts at his pro day where he executed a 4.44 time in the 40-yard dash. Ward entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.
Soon after, the Cowboys traded Ward late in the 2018 preseason to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for veteran offensive lineman Parker Ehinger. Ward went on to emerge as a key defensive playmaker in Kansas City, becoming a starter for the Chiefs late during his rookie season. He also made a start at cornerback in one of Kansas City's postseason contests that year.
During his rookie season, Ward allowed a total of 182 receiving yards and just one receiving touchdown. He also notched 41 tackles and seven passes defended.
During his four seasons with the Chiefs, the cornerback helped bring the team to four playoff runs. In 2018, Kansas City managed to take a late-game four point lead over the New England Patriots in the 2018 AFC Championship game. With under a minute on the clock, Ward intercepted a deflected pass from Tom Brady – a chance to send the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl since 1969. However, the play was nullified due to an offsides penalty.
Last season, Ward allowed 18 catches on 46 targets in man coverage, which was second best in the NFL.
Opposing quarterbacks completed just 38 percent of their passes when targeting Ward in man coverage. Missing only five percent of his tackle attempts, according to Pro Football Focus data, he earned the lowest missed tackle rate for a cornerback since 2019.
According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Ward allowed the second-lowest completion percentage among defensive backs last season (45 percent) and the lowest average separation on targets (2 yards).