2014 NFL Draft
Name: Jimmie Ward
School: Northern Illinois
Position: Strong Safety
Positives: Jimmie Ward is lightning quick for a strong safety. He moves fluidly, more like a cornerback than a safety. Ward covers a lot ground, and uses his quickness extremely well when defending against the run. Showing the ability to beat ball carriers to the spot before they can break into the open field. He’s also very good on the blitz.
Ward is also a violent hitter, but he knows how to deliver the blow low and legal, and not up high to draw penalties. His body control is outstanding when in coverage. He can consistently get close enough to a receiver and knock down passes and avoid pass interference.
Negatives: Ward’s frame is on the thin side more like the build of a cornerback than a safety. And although he hits with violence, sometimes he sacrifices making the sure tackle in order to deliver the spectacular hit.
Impact on the Redskins: Jimmie Ward could compete for a starting spot immediately for the Redskins. He might struggle some initially while learning the NFL game, but he could give the Redskins a quality starter for the foreseeable future. But even if he didn’t start initially, Ward also has the reputation for being outstanding on special teams, having blocked a number of punts in college.
Where the Redskins could pick him: The Redskins would have to pick Ward with their second round pick at # 34, as he won’t be on the board in the third round. The Redskins safety situation is still up in the air, so it’s possible they could draft Ward over an offensive tackle.
Teams interested: Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, St. Louis Rams
2014 NFL Draft