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.