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2015 NFL DRAFT

Jimmie Ward, SS

School: Northern Illinois  |  Conference: MAC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Mobile, AL
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 193 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
3311-2

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
---09 ----
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.472.541.56- -10'05"4.246.89

Mock Draft Expert Analysis

  • Baltimore Ravens | #30
    With eight picks already at their disposal, the Ravens don't need to trade down but could take advantage of San Francisco's aggression to add more and still land a playmaker at a position of need. Ward's deep range and ability to cover up receivers in the slot would make him an ideal complement to last year's first round pick Matt Elam, a natural in-the-box safety.
  • New York Jets | #17
    The Jets get a steal this late with a player who can line up in the nickel or safety and Rex will love the versatility.
  • Atlanta Falcons | #37
    They have to get better on the back end and this kid is a playmaker.
  • Baltimore Ravens | #17
    I had a coach tell me Ward is his favorite defensive back in the draft because he can play safety or corner and he hits.
 

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Compact frame. Remarkably fluid athlete with quick feet, smooth change-of-direction agility and easy acceleration. Dropped down to cover slot receivers with solid man-to-man skills to handle a similar role in the NFL.

Good balance and lateral agility, including the ability to sprawl to avoid cut-blocks. Physical, competitive defender who doesn't back down from the challenges of bigger opponents. Very good diagnosis skills and closes quickly and forcefully. Takes proper angles in pursuit, limiting breakaway opportunities for opponents. Eased concerns that his stellar play was due in part to questionable competition at the Senior Bowl.

WEAKNESSES: Shorter than scouts prefer, a fact that could lead to some projecting him at cornerback. Good but less-than-ideal speed to recover if beaten initially. Gets too grabby once he's turned around. Leaves his feet to tackle, creating some impressive collisions but occasionally failing to wrap up securely. Misses tackles against the bigger, stronger athletes.

Compares To: Glover Quin, Lions - Quin might not be the most popular player in the league but the six-year veteran out of New Mexico has quietly proven a quality starter despite marginal size (6-0, 205).

Player Overview

A Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist as a senior, Ward was all over the field in 2013, leading the team in tackles with 92, including a whopping 62 solo stops. He was also one of the nation's best ball-hawking safeties with seven interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.

What separates Ward from other undersized prospects is his versatile skill set and training to play any position in the defensive backfield. His versatility should be highly appealing to NFL teams and may even draw higher grades for Ward than expected.

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Player News
05/12/2014 - QUOTES TO NOTE: "I think there's a lot of MAC pride that'll be working to his advantage. just ask Joe Staley." - Jim Harbaugh on evaluating first-round pick Jimmie Ward, who came from a non BCS conference school. - The Sports Xchange
 

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