JIMMIE WARD SS, Northern Illinois

News & Updates

May 25

Jimmie Ward probably out until training camp

49ers first-rounder out for time being.

Size - 5106 - 197 - 4.49
Strong Points - Productive, instincts, run support and tackle, can play man on a slot, zone, ball reactions and hands, range
Weak Points - Has a foot injury that requires surgery and will prevent him from doing any private workouts, lacks ideal size for the position, doesn't play to timed speed
2013 Stats: 95 total tackles, seven interceptions, one sack
Summation - Ward is a fourth-year senior and a three-year starter for the Huskies. As a freshman in 2010, he played in every game and was an outstanding special teams' performer with three blocked kicks. He became a fulltime starter at safety in 2011
In 2012 tape, he played closer to the line of scrimmage, in short, he was more of a box safety. He still played deep at times and was put in man coverage situations on an inside receiver. In 2013, while he still played up tight at times, it wasn't as often. He was still used to cover inside receivers.
Ward has good athleticism. He is quick with good change of direction, a good turn, and good overall body control. He timed 4.49 at his pro day, but I don't see that speed on the field. He played more like a 4.55 type.
Ward is a quick reactor with good instincts. He shows good anticipation and is around the ball. He is effective as a run support player, showing the ability to take on and shed blocks and is a consistent tackler. He is used to blitz at times and does a good job coming off the edge.
When in man coverage, he shows the turn and mirror skills needed. He has a good jam and does well versus shorter routes. He doesn't have the long speed to consistently cover deep, but has good ball reactions and closes well to make plays.
In zone, he shows good awareness. He has the anticipation and range to get to the sideline from the hash. For the most part, he keeps plays in front of him and does not get beaten deep. I did see him blow a coverage in their Bowl game versus Utah State. He was beaten deep but was able to recover and get the PBU.
Overall, Ward has the instincts and skills to be an eventual starting strong safety in the NFL. He lacks ideal size, and the fact that he needs foot surgery will hurt his draft value. I see him as a solid third round type, with the injury potentially dropping him to the fourth.