Nov 20, 2013; Toledo, OH, USA; Northern Illinois Huskies safety Jimmie Ward (15) warms up before the game against the Toledo Rockets at Glass Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

2014 Draft Grade: San Francisco 49ers Select Jimmie Ward

The San Francisco 49ers selected safety Jimmie Ward with the 30th in the 2014 NFL draft.

Scheme Fit

The secondary needed work for the San Francisco 49ers, period.  Naturally everyone expected a corner in that case but with a run on safeties, the Niners chose to scoop up Jimmie Ward who was really the last safety worthy of going anywhere near the first round.  He’s got great range and coverage ability but throws his body around like a classic safety should.  The kicker here is a lot of experts projected him as a better fit at corner, which would help explain this pick a lot more.

My Reaction

Personally, I love Jimmie Ward.  The kid has that versatile ability coaches covet, which is something needed on todays’ defenses.  I understand the possibilities surrounding a shift to corner but I question the 49ers making the pick at #30, especially after getting Antoine Bethea in free agency.  If he was really their guy, then I believe they could’ve traded back in the second round and still gotten.  Can he pan out as a corner or an eventual wingman to Eric Reid?  Absolutely.  I just think there were better value picks out there.

Grade:  C+

Tags: Jimmie Ward San Francisco 49ers

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