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49ers grab safety Jimmie Ward at No. 30

jimmieward Getty Images

For the second year in a row, the 49ers have drafted a safety in the first round of the NFL draft.

With the 30th overall pick, San Francisco added Jimmie Ward, a safety from Northern Illinois. Last year the 49ers used their first-round pick on safety Eric Reid.

Ward was the fourth safety selected in the last 13 picks, with the run on safeties also including Calvin Pryor to the Jets, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Packers and Deone Bucannon to the Cardinals. Although this wasn’t viewed as a great draft for elite safeties, there was clearly depth at the position.

And although he lacks the size teams usually like in safeties, Ward may be the one with the most potential of the bunch. He’s fast, explosive and aggressive, and he was very productive in college. He should make a good 49ers defense better.

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44 Responses to “49ers grab safety Jimmie Ward at No. 30”
  1. ctiggs says: May 8, 2014 11:38 PM

    Wanted Lee, but Ward is solid #NOONEhasitbetter

  2. kamthechancellor says: May 8, 2014 11:39 PM

    Lmao! Niners reach for the guy the Cardinals should’ve reached for!

  3. raiders4ever says: May 8, 2014 11:40 PM

    lol the window continues to close …and you know thats facts if you know anything about football

  4. braceyourselffor12 says: May 8, 2014 11:42 PM

    Hopefully Martavis Bryant and or Keith McGill/ Stanley Jean-Baptiste are available in the next rounds.

    Cardinals snagged Deone Bucannon god damn it.

  5. axespray says: May 8, 2014 11:43 PM

    Reid and Ward for the next decade’ish.
    Not bad.

  6. whosgotitbetterthanruss says: May 8, 2014 11:45 PM

    Awful pick, lol.

    #REPETE
    #DYNASTY
    #ABOVEREPROACH

  7. desbattle82 says: May 8, 2014 11:47 PM

    Terrible pick not one sane person had him.as a first.rd pick.and.he can’t play corner /!! Niners board always stupid always. Drafting a guy.a rd or two earlier then projected and they aren’t ahead of the game take away the 2011 draft and balke and harbaugh suck at drafting save for Eric reid.! No wonder the Seahawks passed the niners up when sf had a big head start.in rebuilding

  8. rathmanranyouover says: May 8, 2014 11:50 PM

    Raiders4never – so bitter in the Bay. The Raiders would have to have a window in order to see one close. Lmao

    Russell Potatoes – the Seahawks did win one. But keep that dynasty word out of your mouth. You wouldn’t know anything about that.

  9. desbattle82 says: May 8, 2014 11:50 PM

    Niners fans should be sick of the Jack of all trades tweener nonsense it’s never worked out for sf and never will

  10. allidoiswin55 says: May 8, 2014 11:51 PM

    Bad bad choice they now have 2 young Free safeties . This was a mistake should have been cb not safety unless they somehow believe they can turn him into a cb . I really think they blew this pick and draft so far

  11. reptar310 says: May 8, 2014 11:54 PM

    Lee woulda been nice, but needed a nickel corner/back up safety

  12. goldbloodedindfw says: May 8, 2014 11:55 PM

    Of course a bunch of Seahawks fan are gonna comment and say it was a bad pick. We could pick the second coming of Deion Sanders and they would still say it was a bad choice. I fail to see how picking a solid safety after we lost Whitner in free agency is an “awful pick.”

  13. alguzman49ers says: May 9, 2014 12:05 AM

    Crappiest pick in… well 2 years, feels like AJ Jenkins 2.0…. further proof we should keep Jim over baalke any day of the week and twice on sundays

  14. allidoiswin55 says: May 9, 2014 12:10 AM

    ^^ it’s a poor pick bc you drafted TWO FREE SAFTIES BACK TO BACK. What the hell you gonna do play 3 safeties ? You needed a cb and maybe a strong safety for the future and in case ward doesn’t pan out .

    You also picked a 2nd rd possibly 3rd rd player . I really think the cards took you by surprise you were planning on him Buchanan from wash st and he was taken a few picks earlier . This choice makes very little sense unless you move Reod over to SS.

    The kid you just drafted is a small safety , for all your hating on Sherman and Thomas , YOU JUST FELL VICTIM TO THE LOB EFFECT and reaches severely on a defensive back hoping he would become a “earl Thomas ” only he doesn’t fit your system and has no place to play !

    Hate Seattle all you want but they are changing the game and your team is even trying to emulate that success . (Not that it’s bad but you have to accept Seattles philosophy )

  15. dirtyjersey9er says: May 9, 2014 12:10 AM

    What’s this about having 2 Free Safeties? I am pretty sure it has been stated that the Safeties in the 49ers secondary aren’t considered FS and SS. They are pretty much interchangeable so no need to stick to one being a FS and one being a SS.

    Plus Ward can cover in Nickle year 1-2 while he is groomed by Bethea.

  16. citynative says: May 9, 2014 12:14 AM

    I was excited about the Niners pick. But then I read all the internet gm’s from seattle. Now im very unsure about the Niners pick after reading their unbiased expert analysis. Plus, the first round pick by the Seahawks tonight is a much better player than the a ballhawking, explosive safety who can cover the slot. How will my Niners get a CB or WR with 5 picks tomorrow in a tremendously deep draft? Im getting really worried.

  17. rainponcho87 says: May 9, 2014 12:18 AM

    No one knows anything until these guys step on the field. Richard Sherman was a 5th round pick.

  18. sweetnlow44 says: May 9, 2014 12:18 AM

    As a Seahawk fan, I’m just glad the 9ers didn’t get Lee. Crabtree, Lee, Boldin, and Davis would have been a nightmare of a receiving group while still having to contain Kaep and Gore/Lattimore/Hunter. I’ve never seen Ward play, so I won’t judge and even though the talking heads call this pick a stretch, you never know. They also gave the Seahawks draft grade an F a few years ago because they took Irvin in the first and Wilson in the 3rd. 9ers addressed a need, can’t hate on that too much.

  19. lottsmissingfinger says: May 9, 2014 12:19 AM

    Surprised me a bit because I usually saw him projected in early-mid 2nd round but this is what the NFC East blogger for The evil sports empire had:

    “Projection: Most experts/analysts peg him as a late first or early second-round pick. He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl, and though he does not come from a power conference, his play has been steady regardless of competition, which is why he’s been consistently pegged in this area. ”

    Other sites were pretty much the same except the eye network where a few analysts mocked him to Baltimore at the 17th overall spot.

  20. wrathofrathman says: May 9, 2014 12:24 AM

    How much of bethea’s contract is guaranteed?

  21. 7ftgriff says: May 9, 2014 12:29 AM

    this is still a team with 5 picks on Friday, don’t judge the draft just yet. tomorrow when they land lee or Robinson, and then someone like Jean-Baptiste everyone will look back and this current panic will go away.

  22. rathmanranyouover says: May 9, 2014 12:32 AM

    Yes, two young, versatile safeties is an awful choice. Hasn’t worked out well for Seattle either. All you couch coaches make me laugh. Just because YOU haven’t heard of him doesn’t mean it’s a bad pick. PLUS: he can play nickel and has fantastic feet/backpedal. Grab some pine, meat!

  23. thegrigga49 says: May 9, 2014 1:05 AM

    Ward is going to play the nickel not safety. He played 14 games at corner. I love this pick.

  24. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 9, 2014 1:08 AM

    im happy with this pick. donte whitner was always getting beat. hes a hard hitter but cant cover. i believe this pick solves our safety issue. tramaine brock and culliver will be the starting cb’s. i believe we’ll draft a cb next. we need depth since we lost carlos rodgers and terrell brown.

  25. kamthechancellor says: May 9, 2014 1:11 AM

    ^^This just in: He’s not the second coming of Carlos Rogers, let alone Deon Sanders.

  26. thegreatjimbrown says: May 9, 2014 1:18 AM

    “Reid and Ward for the next decade’ish.”

    Not gonna be able to afford them once you pay your QB.

  27. sum_cents says: May 9, 2014 1:20 AM

    He played a lot of nickel corner in college. Actually, that does match a need for the team. His tape looks pretty good too. This isn’t a splashy move, but he can be a useful player for them.

  28. 4d9erdynasty says: May 9, 2014 1:27 AM

    Not too excited about taking an injured 2nd round rated player soon to be converted to a different position in the 1st round. Woow. 1sr round pick should never be a reach.

  29. pacificnw7722 says: May 9, 2014 1:29 AM

    5′ 11″ tall and 193lbs.

    Percy Harvin will run right past him and Sidney Rice will out jump him.

  30. rikkyt00 says: May 9, 2014 1:34 AM

    He ran a 4.45@combine on a fractured foot, (had surgery inMarch) also plays CB. & a hitter.
    ” Just the facts ma’m “

  31. ravenmuscle says: May 9, 2014 1:36 AM

    Funny how when players are drafted they are described as being the solution of a team’s needs for the next ten years…THEN only after 4 years …if they become good…another team gives them a huge free agency offer and POOF…they are playing for another team. So much for the solution for the next decade business.

  32. chefjayson says: May 9, 2014 1:55 AM

    Not a great pick imo. Not considering they drafted reid last year and signed Antione Bethea to a 4 year 26 million dollar contract. 1st round backup? Nickle safety? Doesn’t really matter though. They have 11 picks. They can afford this kind of pick in a draft this deep.

  33. mutantman87 says: May 9, 2014 2:20 AM

    Poor choice when they major needs at WR and CB. Bethea and Reid would have been a very good duo. They also could have groomed Tuitt to replace Justin Smith. A luxury pick, and one they couldn’t really afford in the best division in the NFL. Baalke needs to understand that he won’t win a championship by stockpiling safeties while the rest of the conference improves their weaknesses.

  34. juliusanonymous says: May 9, 2014 2:28 AM

    Always hilarious when Santa Clara 49er fans bring up a dynasty from 30 years ago when weakly trying to trash-talk the Seahawks current Lombardi / World Championship.

    Oh, and maybe Harbaugh should focus on finding a real QB who won’t turnover the ball 3 times in the 4th quarter instead of trying to COPY the Seahawks on defense. Jimmie Ward ain’t no Earl Thomas, but thanks for playing.

    #SeahawksAreChamps
    #SantaClara49ersAreChumps

    #YouMadBro

  35. pop562 says: May 9, 2014 3:49 AM

    The arm chair general managers are at it again. Spouting off their hate of a draft pick that in order for it to be bad or even a bust, they have to at least play for 3 years in the NFL to really critique if it was a bad pick or not.

  36. osiris33 says: May 9, 2014 3:58 AM

    I always wait to see who’s gonna be this years “Tyson Allualu” pick. Congrats 49ers.

  37. forever9ers says: May 9, 2014 4:50 AM

    My first reaction: Strong safety? what the fudge?
    But after watching the ESPN & NFL.com expert analysis and more tape: A natural, he’s both a big time ball hawk and a tackling machine. WOW!

  38. jvibottomline says: May 9, 2014 10:47 AM

    The RICH GOT RICHER!

  39. kamthechancellor says: May 9, 2014 11:15 AM

    “‘I didn’t think Ward was a first-round-caliber player, but this is late enough in the round that even mentioning “reach” seems silly. It’s just difficult to see him having the same sort of impact for the 49ers that he had for Northern Illinois'”

    Obviously Frisco has so many holes on this team they were reluctant to package some picks and move up to get an impact player. Seattle slammed the SuperBowl window shut on Harbaugh’s fingers last season and now it’s time to head back down to the cellar for another 20 years. Loving it!

  40. stoptrippn says: May 9, 2014 11:26 AM

    He’s a corner. I’m sick of BAALLLLICKER Baalke

  41. rathmanranyouover says: May 9, 2014 11:40 AM

    Attention Seattle: your team has won one championship, ever.

    Again, in the history of the NFL, that is ONE time. So funny how big your heads have gotten as fans. Niner fans are not mad or bitter. Very happy to have 5 trophies and compete for a title year in/year out.

  42. jayniner says: May 9, 2014 11:49 AM

    With so many picks in the draft, I don’t get why they didn’t trade up for Kyle Fuller.

    Eric Reid turned out to be a beast so they know what they are doing. Obviously they see something in Jimmie Ward.

    …but I still don’t get it.

  43. norcalsportsknowledge says: May 9, 2014 12:12 PM

    Reid is better suited for strong safety and Bethea contract is really only a one yr deal. Niners number one weakness was giving up the big play on defense, because wr were getting beyond the safeties. This won’t happen anymore! Niners will give up the fewest points in league next yr. Don’t be surprised if the next pick is a C/OG, then cb, then wr.

  44. WestCoast 49er/Bolts says: May 9, 2014 2:26 PM

    Got to luv hearing a raider fan talking about the window closing when their window has been closed with the curtains shut for 30 years and on the way to another 30.

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