Northern Illinois Huskies’ safety Jimmie Ward was projected as a potentially very high pick in next month’s draft, but after having foot surgery, he was unable to participate in the NFL’s Scouting Combine and has not been able to paiticpate in individual workouts either.
According to Adam Caplan of ESPN’s NFL Insiders and Sirius XM radio, Ward has been cleared to begin running.
S Jimmie Ward (Northern Ill.) has been cleared to begin running after his latest tests on his surgically repaired foot showed good healing.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) April 28, 2014
In spit of the injuries the 5’11, 193-pounder is still considered one of the best safeties in the draft and many still believe he will be a second or third round pick next week.
The scouts at NFL.com describe Ward as a “wiry, active, aggressive strong safety at his best playing downhill and reacting to plays in front him, yet possesses the cover skill to range over the top or lock down defenders in the slot,” that he has the ability to stay healthy in the future given lack of size and durability is the biggest concern,” is “a very talented football player who could slide a round or two based on size, medical evaluations and attitude” and that he “can contribute immediately at any safety position and positively affect the game if healthy and focused.”