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2016 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

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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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