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Jimmy Ward

Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by CorvaNinerFan:
You also have to look at where Ward played and against their competition (NIU). It's not at the same level as Alabama, Louisville, USC, WSU, LSU & Stanford.

Although you have to consider where Ward played and the level of competition he faced, a higher level of college competition does not automatically mean that a player will be better in the NFL.

At this point, I think that Ward will be the best overall safety available for the 49ers in the second or third round.

His ball skills are great and he seems to be a good tackler.

I want ball skills and good tackling more than I want the "big hits."

Hitting is easier to teach than ball skills are.
The good news is that a really good SS prospect is likely to be available for the niners in each of the first three rounds!
Kiper's comments about Safeties: comment on Ward--

"There's a change at the top, with Pryor now ahead of Clinton-Dix. My guess is there will be split opinions on those two depending on which GM you ask, with some preferring Pryor's instincts and downhill style and others preferring the range Clinton-Dix offers in coverage. Who goes first could come down to scheme. The riser for me is Ward, who isn't a big player but is a very good one and looks as if he can start early. Likely a second-rounder."
How does Ward compare with Loston, and Buchannon?
Originally posted by Ninefan56:
How does Ward compare with Loston, and Buchannon?

Bit shorter and leaner, but much better in coverage... much better discipline, angles, and man coverage. Loston and Bucannon are more box safety-ish like Whitner now is.. Ward is basically a FS/CB with the ability to shadow slot receivers and make strong tackles despite the smaller size.
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He's a bit under-rated...unlike Ha-Ha and Calvin Pryor who are both over-rated. I do think Ward's stock is rising and if he runs a decent time - he could move up near the top of 2nd round.
Originally posted by Ninefan56:
How does Ward compare with Loston, and Buchannon?

Better in coverage, better overall tackler as well. His weaknesses are basically his level of competition and that he's somewhat undersized for the position, not so much height as much as his overall weight, but he shows terrific range in coverage, the quickness and fluidity to stick with smaller slot receivers and he's a very sound tackler when it comes to stopping the run.

His question marks are the kind of question marks that caused highly talented players to get drafted later than they rightfully should have been and then years later, people wonder just how this outstanding player fell as far as he did in the draft and why lesser guys got selected in front of him.

In terms of the big mover at safety in the last draft, Jonathan Cyprien, Ward is far better in coverage and a more reliable and sound tackler. Cyprien was a disappointment, although Jacksonville's entire secondary was a mess but Ward seems more like the free safety type, can be a hybrid safety, he'll play very good coverage but can also move up in the box to stop the run as well. Ward was used more as a traditional safety at NIU, whereas Cyprien was more of a headhunter, heat seeking missile type of player at FIU.

Ward lined up against WR's and TE's regularly, this cannot be overstated, he did very well lined up in coverage 1 on 1, with a guy like Pryor, he spent a lot more time lined up deep and wasn't matching up with slot receivers which is one of the biggest question marks on him.
[ Edited by Phoenix49ers on Feb 14, 2014 at 6:03 PM ]
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