Data Scout Notes: 2013: 1stC...PThorpe/TSX-PTW...2012: 1stC...2011: 2ndM
Jimmie Ward/Northern Illinois football Videos
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Draft Scout Jimmie Ward News
03/22/14 - 2014 NFL Draft: Week 1 Pro Day takeaways...3. Small frame, not game: Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward eased any concerns about his straight-line speed and toughness Friday as well, unofficially clocking in at 4.47 seconds in his two attempts at the 40-yard dash. How does that demonstrate his toughness? Ward informed scouts before running that he'll soon undergo surgery to insert a screw in his foot. Speaking of tough defensive backs, TCU's Jason Verrett managed to post 19 repetitions of 225 pounds during his workout despite having a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Best of all, the grit Verrett showed on the bench is reflected in his scrappy play on the field. Add this toughness and strength to the fact that Verrett was clocked at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis and one can appreciate why he's viewed as a near lock to get selected in the first round despite his 5-9, 189-pound frame. Ward, similarly built at 5-11, 193 pounds, is gaining traction as a top-32 pick himself. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
03/17/14 - 2014 Pro Days: Jimmie Ward displays speed before foot surgery...Jimmy Ward appeared over the foot injury that sidelined him from working out at the Scouting Combine last month by running a 40-yard dash timed unofficially in 4.47 seconds by multiple scouts at Northern Illinois' pro day on Friday. The workout was well attended, with Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and Detroit Lions defensive backs coach Alan Williams among those in attendance. Ward reportedly met with various teams for more than two hours following the workout.
Ward, the top-rated strong safety in this year's class by NFLDraftScout.com who can also play free safety, ran the 40 twice to display his straight-line speed before he soon undergoes surgery to have a screw inserted into his foot.He expects to be cleared to return to the field before the May 8-10 NFL Draft. Ward had 95 tackles and seven interceptions last season, and is considered to be a versatile back-end defender who boasts speed and good instincts despite being relatively small at 5-feet-11 and 193. He was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as a senior, and has even displayed the ability to drop down to handle slot receivers in man coverage. - The Sports Xchange
02/20/14 - 2014 NFL Draft Scout Pre-Combine Top 64 Prospects: 62. Jimmie Ward, SS, Northern Illinois, 5-11, 191, 4.59, 2...Ward came off a 95-tackle, seven interception senior season at NIU and then further impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl. He is smart, heady and puts himself in position to succeed, using his speed and range to cover the deep half of the field. NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang said Ward was the Senior Bowl's most impressive pass defender this year. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange
01/25/14 - 2014 Senior Bowl, Helped Themselves: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois - Scouts knew heading into the Senior Bowl that Ward possessed the fluidity and instincts to cover but competition in the MAC is much different than in Mobile. Athletic enough to handle deep coverage, as well as slide down to cover slot receivers, Ward was the Senior Bowl's most impressive pass defender this year. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com
01/22/14 - 2014 Senior Bowl Wednesday: Under-the-radar defenders highlight North practice...Another small but feisty defensive back catching the eye of scouts at the Senior Bowl was Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward. While lacking the frame scouts would prefer at the position, the 5-foot-10, 193-pound Ward is an aggressive downhill tackler, who crashed the line of scrimmage in run support and raced down the field as a middle defender on kickoff coverage. Ward was moved all over the field by the Atlanta Falcons' coaching staff, lining up as a single-high safety, dropping down to cover tight ends as a traditional strong safety and splitting out to cover receivers out of the slot. In each case, his vision and burst to the ball consistently put him in position to make big plays.
One particularly impressive play came while he was backed up as a deep centerfielder. Reading a wide run to the right (his left) from West Virginia running back Charles Sims, Ward exploded towards the line of scrimmage, zipping past would-be blockers to "tackle" the 6-foot, 214-pound back in the open-field. Tackling is strictly forbidden during the all-star game practices, but Ward came in so fast, Sims had no choice but to attempt a jump-cut to his right, losing his balance and falling to the ground on a play in which he appeared to have an wide lane for an easy score. - Rob Rang & Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com