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 NFL Draft grades: San Francisco 49ers select Jimmie Ward


With the No. 30 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers selected safety Jimmie Ward from the Northern Illinois Huskies.

Ward is a do-it-all safety who is equally adept at playing the pass and the run and. He is 5-11, 193-pounds and was a 3rd team All-American who will be play free safety and be a center fielder opposite the blossoming Reid. He had 11 interceptions in his career.

After the 49ers traded up in last year’s first round to take Eric Reid with the No. 18 pick overall, the 49ers have solidified the safety position for the foreseeable future, but this could be considered a bit of a reach in some circles, although there was word Ward could have gone as high as No. 21 to the Green Bay Packers in days leading up to the draft.

With very little in the way of glaring needs after three consecutive NFL Championship Game appearance, Jim Harbaugh‘s team was once again in a fortuitous position when they were on the clock.

They could have taken an edge rusher as an insurance policy in case Aldon Smith is unavailable after his offseason arrest and they could have given Colin Kaepernick another receiver opposite Michael Crabtree like Marquis Lee after missing on A.J. Jenkins in the first round a couple years ago or cornerback could have been an option.

With six picks in the first 100, the 49ers have the flexibility to move up if they desire in the second and third round tomorrow.

Grade: B-


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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Jimmie Ward San Francisco 49ers