NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Northern Illinois SS Jimmie Ward
|05.05.14 at 3:09 pm ET|
WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2014 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.
Position: Strong safety
School: Northern Illinois
Weight: 193 pounds
Achievements: 2013 first-team All-American (USA Today, SI.com), third-team All-American (Associated Press, Athlon), 2013, 2012 first-team All-Mid-American Conference, 2011 second-team All Mid-American Conference, 2010 Northern Illinois Special Teams Player of the Year, 2010 Northern Illinois Freshman of the Year
What he brings: Analysts say that Ward is an energetic player with quick feet and hands, although he lacks ideal size and shows lower-body stiffness.
Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 1-3
Notes: During the 2013 season, Ward was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and led the team in tackles for the second time in his career with a total of 95 — 62 of which were solo. He was the first defender from Northern Illinois to ever receive first-team All-American honors. … As a junior, Ward led the team with 104 tackles, 65 of which were solo. His totals put him at 16th in the Mid-American Conference and 85th nationally. … Ward began his career with the Huskies as a true freshman in 2010 when he played in all 14 games and set a school record with three blocked punts in a season. … Ward did not workout a the NFL Combine because of a foot injury.
The Kansas City Star: Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward impresses at pro day
Video: Here is a video highlighting Ward’s career with Northern Illinois.