49ers sign 1st-round pick Jimmie Ward

Jimmie Ward is officially a member of the 49ers' secondary. (USATSI)
Jimmie Ward is officially a member of the 49ers' secondary. (USATSI)

More Draft coverage: 2015 Mock Drafts | 2015 Top 100 | 2014 Draft Grades | News

The 49ers used their first-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on safety Jimmie Ward, and Thursday, the team signed the former Northern Illinois standout to a four-year deal.

And like rookie teammate Kenneth Acker, Ward inked his contract using a quill pen.

No word on whether $8 khakis were included in the "Welcome to the 49ers!" gift basket.

Ward was selected 30th overall, and was the fourth safety taken in the first round after Calvin Pryor (Jets, No. 18), Ha-Ha Clinton Dix (Packers, No. 21) and Deone Bucannon (Cardinals, No. 27).

“Jimmie Ward was definitely one of the players that if he was available for us at 30, that’s a big if, and he was there, so we were excited,” Harbaugh said moments after the pick was made on May 8.

In his first-round draft grades, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco wrote that Ward "is a heck of a football player, but with Antoine Bethea and Eric Reid was that really a need?"

Forty-Niners general manager Trent Baalke's response: "We feel the value was there."

Ward started 39 games in college and finished his career with 320 tackles, 26 passes defensed, 11 interceptions, four forced fumbles, two sacks, one fumble recovery and four blocked kicks.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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