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49ers sign Jimmie Ward, Chris Borland

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The 49ers have become the latest team to reach a contract agreement with a first-round pick, striking a four-year deal with safety Jimmie Ward.

The club announced the signing Thursday evening.

The No. 30 selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, the 5-foot-10, 193-pound Ward intercepted a career-high seven passes in 2013 for Northern Illinois, earning a variety of All-American honors. In San Francisco, he is likely to compete for a role covering slot receivers in “sub” packages.

“He’s lined up all over the place,” 49ers G.M. Trent Baalke said of Ward, according to a transcript from the club after the defensive back’s selection in Round One. “He’s lined up in the slot, he’s played outside a little bit, played in the free safety position and also played in the strong safety position. Very versatile player and a very smart football player.”

Ward is the eighth first-round pick to agree to a contract with his new NFL club.

In addition to getting a deal done with Ward, the 49ers also announced the signing of third-round pick Chris Borland, a linebacker from Wisconsin.

Borland (5-11, 248) recorded more than 100 tackles in each of his last three seasons with the Badgers. He could help pick up the slack at inside linebacker as NaVorro Bowman recovers from a January knee injury.

“How can you not love him as a football player?” Baalke said of Borland after his selection, according to the 49ers. “Not tall enough, not fast enough, arms are too short, you hear all of that. We just love the makeup. We love the player. He’s everything you’re looking for from a DNA standpoint. He loves the game. He’s a smart football player. He’s an extremely instinctive football player.”

The 49ers have agreed to deals with 9-of-12 draft picks.

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9 Responses to “49ers sign Jimmie Ward, Chris Borland”
  1. joey49er says: May 22, 2014 10:15 PM

    Welcome future superbowl winners…..we have 5 trophys ! go get us number 6!!!
    Did I say 5 trophys? Have fun ur playing for a dynasty team….GOOOOOO 49ers

  2. seattleninerfan says: May 22, 2014 10:26 PM

    I’m so excited about Borland I can barely stand it.

  3. cruelintentions662 says: May 22, 2014 10:50 PM

    “A+” in this year draft Niners!

  4. waxthat says: May 22, 2014 11:07 PM

    Great draft by this organization. Blew the Seattle Supersonics out of the water.

  5. calicokiller49 says: May 22, 2014 11:14 PM

    Love these picks.

  6. gbmickey says: May 23, 2014 1:08 AM

    You guys are going to love Borland. He is not ideal physically but his instincts and not stop motor had him involved in virtually every play, he was relentless. The guy will give you 110% every play.

  7. theflyingelvis says: May 23, 2014 1:21 AM

    The 9ers got a very good player in Borland. He may be a bit undersized but he is an absolute animal, a tackling machine who has that uncoachable instinct to ALWAYS be around the ball.

  8. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: May 23, 2014 1:42 AM

    Another great draft for the ‘Niners. That team is already pretty damned good – and they have a LOT of young talent brewing, developing, waiting in the wings to be turned loose. For instance, Carradine will be a tremendous replacement for Justin “Cowboy” Smith when Smith retires. Corey Lemonier played well last year, and is very promising — and good insurance if Aldon Smith can’t play by society’s (and the NFL’s) rules. Marcus Lattimore is going to be something special when Frank Gore shuts it down.

    Now, the ‘Niners land another strong crop of talent; a rookie class that includes another fine RB in Carlos Hyde. That team is stacked and is going to be extremely good for a long time – and Baalke deserves a heck of a lot of credit for it.

  9. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: May 23, 2014 9:18 AM

    Another great draft for the ‘Niners. That team is already pretty damned good – and they have a LOT of young talent brewing, developing, waiting in the wings to be turned loose. For instance, Carradine will be a tremendous replacement for Justin “Cowboy” Smith when Smith retires. Corey Lemonier played well last year, and is very promising — and good insurance if Aldon Smith can’t play by society’s (and the NFL’s) rules. Marcus Lattimore is going to be something special when Frank Gore shuts it down.

    Now, the ‘Niners land another strong crop of talent; a rookie class that includes another fine RB in Carlos Hyde. That team is stacked and is going to be extremely good for a long time – and Baalke deserves a heck of a lot of credit for it.

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