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Old 02-10-2014, 03:18 PM    (permalink
jonny_eagles
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Default Jimmie Ward - Safety - Northern Illinois

Hey guys this is my first post here.

I love to talk about the draft and players. Also I do scout every player as much as I can when I have time. So I won't add to any conversations about players I don't know about and haven't seen myself personally.

The first area I've been looking at is the safety position.

Really surprised to see there's not a thread on this guy Jimmie Ward. Was so so impressed watching his tape. He made a few incredible plays, his issue his obviously his size - he's only 5ft 10 and under 200 lbs. This will probably keep him from going in the 1st round IMO. However (as an Eagles fan) I will be thrilled if he falls to us in the late second.

Anyone who's watched him what you think of this guy?
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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I absolutely loved what I saw from him on tape. I watched a few full games on him and I honestly don't think I saw him make a single mistake. He kind of falls into a similar category as guys like Aaron Donald and Chris Borland where, strictly based off of their tape, they look like 1st round talents but will get dropped down based on perceived physical limitations.

I think Jimmie Ward could flirt with the first round if he has a good showing at the combine. If he weighs in a little heavier than he did at the Senior Bowl and runs something like a 4.5 in the 40 I would anticipate him going late 1st or early 2nd. If he looks like he's not going to be able to put on weight and runs something like a 4.6 then I think he'll fall back into the 3rd or so like Chris Borland.

I love him as a prospect though as he's a pretty sure tackler for a guy his size, is rarely out of position, and plays the ball well in the air. Another user compared him to a poor man's Earl Thomas and I think that's pretty fair. He's not the same type of athlete as Thomas and he's not as physical but he's very smart and plays the run and pass well.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:34 PM    (permalink
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I watch a decent amount of MAC football, games more than tape, and Ward is pretty much my favorite guy to watch. Covers a lot of the field, really effective in deep coverage but still easily noticeable when moving up to make plays. He's been pretty hyped since the Senior Bowl, I could see his stock around where you have it in that second round range and I think he's a good pickup there.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:36 PM    (permalink
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Welcome to the forum! Are you a Philly Eagles fan or does your name reflect something else?

I really like what I saw of Ward on Youtube, but it didn't show many flaws. Was there something you saw while watching his tape that stands out to you as something that he needs to improve on?

He went in Round 2 of our most recent Forum Mock and has been talked about even if he doesn't have his own thread. I think most here know of him especially after the Senior Bowl.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:39 PM    (permalink
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Completely agree with both responses. He literally doesn't seem to ever make a mistake or get beat.

I know a lot of Eagles fans like myself who would actually be happy with him in the first. I think if he had a little bit more height and lbs, he'd be in the discussion for best safety.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:41 PM    (permalink
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Welcome to the forum! Are you a Philly Eagles fan or does your name reflect something else?

I really like what I saw of Ward on Youtube, but it didn't show many flaws. Was there something you saw while watching his tape that stands out to you as something that he needs to improve on?

He went in Round 2 of our most recent Forum Mock and has been talked about even if he doesn't have his own thread. I think most here know of him especially after the Senior Bowl.
I am a Philly Eagles fan! I think he will go in round 2 because he is undersized but I really think, based on what I saw that he will be a very very good player.

To be perfectly honest is biggest slow is something he can't improve really, his height and weight!

Obviously he can put a few pounds on but he may lose his quickness. I'd like him to make a few more plays at the LOS, he never really comes up and lays a great hit on the running back. However, he is physical enough with receivers when they come into contract with him.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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I am a Philly Eagles fan! I think he will go in round 2 because he is undersized but I really think, based on what I saw that he will be a very very good player.

To be perfectly honest is biggest slow is something he can't improve really, his height and weight!

Obviously he can put a few pounds on but he may lose his quickness. I'd like him to make a few more plays at the LOS, he never really comes up and lays a great hit on the running back. However, he is physical enough with receivers when they come into contract with him.
I completely agree. It's his physical measurements that are his weaknesses but I'm not convinced they're a big enough problem to stop him from being a good NFL player.

I also saw that he was pretty hesitant at the LOS in the run game. He's not like Calvin Pryor who's going to fly in and blow up a play in the backfield but he also doesn't miss tackles and doesn't get beat. I don't remember ever seeing a runner get by him in the tape I watched.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:48 PM    (permalink
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I am a Philly Eagles fan! I think he will go in round 2 because he is undersized but I really think, based on what I saw that he will be a very very good player.

To be perfectly honest is biggest slow is something he can't improve really, his height and weight!

Obviously he can put a few pounds on but he may lose his quickness. I'd like him to make a few more plays at the LOS, he never really comes up and lays a great hit on the running back. However, he is physical enough with receivers when they come into contract with him.
Sounds good, we need more Philly fans!

Think they would take Ward as high as Round 2?
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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I really like him, but as a Ravens fan, he hasn't been much on my radar, as he would form a "short" safety tandem with Elam. I think whoever selects him gets at least a very very solid player, who as you mentioned make few mistakes.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:58 PM    (permalink
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I completely agree. It's his physical measurements that are his weaknesses but I'm not convinced they're a big enough problem to stop him from being a good NFL player.

I also saw that he was pretty hesitant at the LOS in the run game. He's not like Calvin Pryor who's going to fly in and blow up a play in the backfield but he also doesn't miss tackles and doesn't get beat. I don't remember ever seeing a runner get by him in the tape I watched.
Completely agree with you about Pyror and hitting at the LOS. One of my big + points when watching Pyror was how frequently he seems to hit RB's at the LOS.

I also agree his physical measurements will stop him from being a 1st round pick but I do not feel they will limit him from being a very good NFL player.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:00 PM    (permalink
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Sounds good, we need more Philly fans!

Think they would take Ward as high as Round 2?
Well you've got one here! I'll start posting more on topics as I get through the tape.

YES! I would love it if we took Ward in the 2nd. Chip has this philosophy that "big players beat up little players" which is true, but he's also not going to miss on a talent because they aren't very big. He saw first hand last year how good Boykin was for us at CB despite only being 5ft 10.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:28 PM    (permalink
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I think Ward is a really solid late 2nd/early 3rd guy. He has a nice instinctual game but he is limited by his speed and overall athleticism. He couldn't keep up with FSU at all and while he had some nice plays in that game, he was toasted every time it came down to a footrace. I really think he's more of a 4.6/4.7 guy.

Best projects as a SS but won't really be that intimidating.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:37 PM    (permalink
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I think Ward is a really solid late 2nd/early 3rd guy. He has a nice instinctual game but he is limited by his speed and overall athleticism. He couldn't keep up with FSU at all and while he had some nice plays in that game, he was toasted every time it came down to a footrace. I really think he's more of a 4.6/4.7 guy.

Best projects as a SS but won't really be that intimidating.
When you speak of Florida State I assume you mean 2012? I watched that game and I think he's improved a lot this year.

I can't recall seeing him toasted when watching his footage and he seems to accelerate pretty well to me. I think he'll have a good combine and would expect him to run under 4.6 and rise up boards due to his combine.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:59 PM    (permalink
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When you speak of Florida State I assume you mean 2012? I watched that game and I think he's improved a lot this year.

I can't recall seeing him toasted when watching his footage and he seems to accelerate pretty well to me. I think he'll have a good combine and would expect him to run under 4.6 and rise up boards due to his combine.
It is the 2012. It's the only decent opponent he has tape on.

When I say toasted, watch plays away from him and how he gets to the ball. He gets beat despite good angles. He has good tape in there too for sure but it showed me he lacks above average athleticism for the position. It's not bad but it's not what you want from a 1st rounder.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:08 PM    (permalink
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It is the 2012. It's the only decent opponent he has tape on.

When I say toasted, watch plays away from him and how he gets to the ball. He gets beat despite good angles. He has good tape in there too for sure but it showed me he lacks above average athleticism for the position. It's not bad but it's not what you want from a 1st rounder.
I agree with you too an extent. I actually thought he had a pretty good game against them but he does struggle to get to the play quickly occasionally and never breaks in to the backfield as I mentioned above.

I think his athleticism is good enough for the position and if we was a little but taller/stronger he'd have a strong chance of going in round 1.
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:44 PM    (permalink
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He's my top FS in the draft. I have the Rams taking him with the 2nd 1st RD pick. Closest thing to Earl Thomas since Earl Thomas. One of my five favorite players in the draft.
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:42 AM    (permalink
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He's my top FS in the draft. I have the Rams taking him with the 2nd 1st RD pick. Closest thing to Earl Thomas since Earl Thomas. One of my five favorite players in the draft.
Wow, not sure I see the same thing as you. While I do like Ward, he lacks anything close to the type of range you get with Thomas. He is smart and generally puts himself in good position to make plays but lacks the athleticism to make up for mental mistakes. I think he can do some work in man coverage but is going to have limitations vs guys with +speed and guys with +size at the next level.

All that being said I think he is a baller who finds a way to get it done and will untimately be pretty high on teams boards. I have him in the late 2nd- 3rd round range as of now with room to climb if he shows something at the combine.

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Old 02-11-2014, 06:36 AM    (permalink
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Wow, not sure I see the same thing as you. While I do like Ward, he lacks anything close to the type of range you get with Thomas. He is smart and generally puts himself in good position to make plays but lacks the athleticism to make up for mental mistakes. I think he can do some work in man coverage but is going to have limitations vs guys with +speed and guys with +size at the next level.

All that being said I think he is a baller who finds a way to get it done and will untimately be pretty high on teams boards. I have him in the late 2nd- 3rd round range as of now with room to climb if he shows something at the combine.
Agree with you about his draft position, at the moment he's a late 2nd/early 3rd pick but with a great combine he could rise to the early 2nd.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:57 AM    (permalink
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From what I've seen of Ward, looks like he may project better to nickel/slot cb than safety.
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Old 02-11-2014, 08:18 AM    (permalink
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Wow, not sure I see the same thing as you. While I do like Ward, he lacks anything close to the type of range you get with Thomas. He is smart and generally puts himself in good position to make plays but lacks the athleticism to make up for mental mistakes. I think he can do some work in man coverage but is going to have limitations vs guys with +speed and guys with +size at the next level.

All that being said I think he is a baller who finds a way to get it done and will untimately be pretty high on teams boards. I have him in the late 2nd- 3rd round range as of now with room to climb if he shows something at the combine.
Pure speed is less important than taking proper angles and moving quickly to take those angles. Ward is cat quick - like ET. He should run around a 4.5. Keep in mind that ET's best pro comparison was Ed Reed, and Reed ran a 4.57. Ward is the best cover safety in this draft period. Everyone else is vying for the #2 spot.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:33 AM    (permalink
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Pure speed is less important than taking proper angles and moving quickly to take those angles. Ward is cat quick - like ET. He should run around a 4.5. Keep in mind that ET's best pro comparison was Ed Reed, and Reed ran a 4.57. Ward is the best cover safety in this draft period. Everyone else is vying for the #2 spot.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is ET gets to a lot of balls that Ward won't be able to at the next level. "Keep in mind", Thomas ran an unoffical 4.37 at his proday and 4.43 at the combine. That extra burst shows up when he is asked to play single high and the elite range he has getting to balls few others can.

Ward is a fine prospect and saying that I don't think he is close to comparison with Thomas isn't a knock on his skills. I complimented his ability to take good angles and put himself in position to make plays on the ball. I think he has the ability to drop into the slot and do some man coverage. I see him more as a small school Kenny Vaccaro.

I'm interested to see what he does at the combine, hopefully he can break the 200lb threshhold without slowing him down much. I agree that he plays with some quickness but am not sure he is going to break the 4.6 mark with his top end speed.
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:04 PM    (permalink
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If Jimmie Ward can't break 4.6 with over 10 weeks of training since his bowl game, with opportunities to run at both the combine and NIU's pro day, then he just isn't that fast.

But I kinda think Ward will be closer to 4.5 flat than 4.6.

Great cover safety play is still about recognition and reaction. Speed is important, but not the MOST important physical skillset for a FS.
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Old 02-11-2014, 03:17 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by D-Unit View Post
Sounds good, we need more Philly fans!
This is an understatement, our team forum is hideous.
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Originally Posted by 49erNation85 View Post
I wouldn't be sir prized if he passed McCoy on the depth chart. I think he might have a better arm and accurate arm then him from the highlights I thought. He also got some wheels too help us prepare for QB's as Wilson , RG3 and other runners etc.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:09 PM    (permalink
Nastradamus
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Originally Posted by E_Bird View Post
Pure speed is less important than taking proper angles and moving quickly to take those angles. Ward is cat quick - like ET. He should run around a 4.5. Keep in mind that ET's best pro comparison was Ed Reed, and Reed ran a 4.57. Ward is the best cover safety in this draft period. Everyone else is vying for the #2 spot.
but a guy like Thomas has the speed and the angles/instincts
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:16 PM    (permalink
Sportsfan486
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Originally Posted by FUNBUNCHER View Post
Great cover safety play is still about recognition and reaction. Speed is important, but not the MOST important physical skillset for a FS.
Definitely agree, which is why I have a very strong 2nd/3rd round grade on Ward.

It's not that I don't like him, it's just that I want more upside with my 1st round pick and he can only be so good of a safety with his fairly average speed and size.
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