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Old 02-11-2014, 10:25 PM    (permalink
E_Bird
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Originally Posted by Nastradamus View Post
but a guy like Thomas has the speed and the angles/instincts
Yeah, Earl Thomas is the man. Watching the combine that year was like watching a title fight - Eric Berry and Earl Thomas being the competitors. Berry tested better, but in the DB drills, I noted that Thomas had the best hips of any prospect at the combine. Some write ups said they were stiff, but they mistook - I think - quiet and compact for stiff. He had no wasted movement, and he was always on balance - kept his center in a way similar to Jerry Rice. I almost broke a chair when Miami traded down from 12 with Thomas sitting on the board.

Still, Ed Reed was great in single-high, and he ran a 4.57, and there are plenty of guys much faster than Earl Thomas. If your speed is adequate (I thin Ward's speed is comfortably adequate, but we'll see), it's about your instincts, COD, and ball skills. No other safety prospect has had Ward's combination of ball skills, perfect angles, balance, and quickness since Earl Thomas. To me, his skill set is much rarer than the safeties being ranked ahead of him.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:13 PM    (permalink
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I like Ward quite a bit, just pointing out that he isn't in Thomas' league as a prospect due to speed.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:35 PM    (permalink
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I just don't see it yet, what is everybody seeing on tape to get exited about? I see him really tap-dancing up to the box in run support, he looks very hesitant, more like a corner coming up to support than a safety. In coverage he looks solid but his foot speed is just average and his motor appears average as well.

This is probably the best game tape I can find and I'm still not impressed,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltZz-MBZVpc#t=735 he made a couple very good plays but this is against Toledo, I was looking for him to stick out a little bit more than he did.

After Ha Ha, Pryor, and Joyner I haven't seen a safety that I have a good feeling about becoming a NFL starter. I have more tape to watch though and it is very early so who knows...
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:49 PM    (permalink
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He also strikes me as a bit of a dirty player.

He was quoted in an interview gloating about knocking an OLineman out for a while after going at his knees and in the Buffalo game he gloated a lot when he knocked a WR out, even appearing to come back over yelling at him to "get up" well after the medical staff was tending to him.

That might drop him a bit on some team's boards.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:34 PM    (permalink
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I just don't see it yet, what is everybody seeing on tape to get exited about? I see him really tap-dancing up to the box in run support, he looks very hesitant, more like a corner coming up to support than a safety. In coverage he looks solid but his foot speed is just average and his motor appears average as well.

This is probably the best game tape I can find and I'm still not impressed,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltZz-MBZVpc#t=735 he made a couple very good plays but this is against Toledo, I was looking for him to stick out a little bit more than he did.

After Ha Ha, Pryor, and Joyner I haven't seen a safety that I have a good feeling about becoming a NFL starter. I have more tape to watch though and it is very early so who knows...
He strikes me as a smart, instinctive FS who is an ok athlete for the position.

Not the type of guy that you're going to expect to come flying down into the box and light up the RB.

Definitely the type of guy that is going to clean up the mess with a sound tackle 8 yards downfield.

Basically he's the kind of guy that some DCs will love - a safety net. He's probably not dynamic enough for others.

Personally I really like him and have him going in the 2nd round.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:48 PM    (permalink
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He strikes me as a smart, instinctive FS who is an ok athlete for the position.

Not the type of guy that you're going to expect to come flying down into the box and light up the RB.

Definitely the type of guy that is going to clean up the mess with a sound tackle 8 yards downfield.

Basically he's the kind of guy that some DCs will love - a safety net. He's probably not dynamic enough for others.

Personally I really like him and have him going in the 2nd round.
He has two more career forced fumbles than C. J. Mosley did. He's a very strong tackler. He also has excellent ball skills - 7 INT's last season. At the Senior Bowl, he was widely considered the best cover player on either side (CB or S). I think people are underselling his athletic ability. If you're looking to run a D that uses a lot of single-high safety, I don't think there's a better guy for that in this draft.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:51 PM    (permalink
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I like Ward quite a bit, just pointing out that he isn't in Thomas' league as a prospect due to speed.
This. In my humble opinion, Joyner is the closet thing your gong to find in this class to Thomas. Ward isn't the athlete Thomas is, nor do I think he's as comfortable in and around the box. But I think Ward could be a poor man's Weddle. Neither is going to wow you with their physical gifts but they both make very few mistakes and always seem to be in the right place at the right time.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:53 PM    (permalink
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He has two more career forced fumbles than C. J. Mosley did. He's a very strong tackler. He also has excellent ball skills - 7 INT's last season. At the Senior Bowl, he was widely considered the best cover player on either side (CB or S). I think people are underselling his athletic ability. If you're looking to run a D that uses a lot of single-high safety, I don't think there's a better guy for that in this draft.
I don't give scrubs 2nd round grades!

He's a sound tackler, but he's not a big guy and doesn't look incredibly fast. He's going to struggle against some of the players he's going to face in the NFL.

He's also playing against poor competition so those 7 INTs are a little misleading.

As I said I think he's a very good player, but he definitely has his physical limitations.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:06 PM    (permalink
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I don't give scrubs 2nd round grades!

He's a sound tackler, but he's not a big guy and doesn't look incredibly fast. He's going to struggle against some of the players he's going to face in the NFL.

He's also playing against poor competition so those 7 INTs are a little misleading.

As I said I think he's a very good player, but he definitely has his physical limitations.
I'm not implying that you're calling him a scrub. Just saying that I don't think he has much in the way of physical limitations. For him to cover WR's at the Senior Bowl as well as or better than any CB at the Senior Bowl, he has to be a good athlete. I think his speed will be fine. High 4.4's/low 4.5's. In the Poinsettia Bowl, there was a trick play that had the D sucked up. After the QB had the ball in his hand, Ward ran 45 yards down the field to break up the pass. QB was slow throwing it, but Ward can move. Combine will be here soon enough, but if he tests well, and I think he will, teams will love what they see on tape. Always takes the right angle, always makes the right play, and he gives you splash plays too.

I like him in the 1st.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:33 AM    (permalink
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I'm not implying that you're calling him a scrub. Just saying that I don't think he has much in the way of physical limitations. For him to cover WR's at the Senior Bowl as well as or better than any CB at the Senior Bowl, he has to be a good athlete. I think his speed will be fine. High 4.4's/low 4.5's. In the Poinsettia Bowl, there was a trick play that had the D sucked up. After the QB had the ball in his hand, Ward ran 45 yards down the field to break up the pass. QB was slow throwing it, but Ward can move. Combine will be here soon enough, but if he tests well, and I think he will, teams will love what they see on tape. Always takes the right angle, always makes the right play, and he gives you splash plays too.

I like him in the 1st.
I don't think that anyone is arguing that Ward is a very good prospect. I just think that there are opposing views when you directly compare him to ET. You continue to make your points, which for the most part are valid, but a part of Thomas's game is the Elite range he possesses. We can argue until we are blue in the face how quick Ward is but I'd be the house that he can't touch Thomas's triangle numbers. Is top end speed the end all quality for safeties? No, but it is a part of what makes ET the best safety in the game.

I do agree that the top safeties in terms of man coverage skills are Ward and Joyner. Both are smooth in their backpedal and make an easy transition when flipping their hips. Ward has the advantage in size but Joyner is quicker in and out of breaks.

Personally I see a little bit of a Jarius Byrd/ Kenny Vacarro mix in Ward.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:50 AM    (permalink
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I don't think that anyone is arguing that Ward is a very good prospect. I just think that there are opposing views when you directly compare him to ET. You continue to make your points, which for the most part are valid, but a part of Thomas's game is the Elite range he possesses. We can argue until we are blue in the face how quick Ward is but I'd be the house that he can't touch Thomas's triangle numbers. Is top end speed the end all quality for safeties? No, but it is a part of what makes ET the best safety in the game.

I do agree that the top safeties in terms of man coverage skills are Ward and Joyner. Both are smooth in their backpedal and make an easy transition when flipping their hips. Ward has the advantage in size but Joyner is quicker in and out of breaks.

Personally I see a little bit of a Jarius Byrd/ Kenny Vacarro mix in Ward.
I see some Byrd and Vacarro, but I think he moves better (and he's not as big). Like I said, I love ET, and I'm not saying he'll be on that level. I'm just saying that he's the closest thing to ET that I've seen since ET. ET's speed is not his best attribute - not saying that it doesn't factor in to his greatness. But plenty of safeties have Thomas' speed - Berry was faster. It's just part of the equation, and Ed Reed was able to have similar succes in single high with 4.57 speed. That's the crux of my point. Taylor Mays is one of the fastest safeties to ever play in the NFL. Don't want him in single high (or on the field at all).
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:39 AM    (permalink
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He also strikes me as a bit of a dirty player.

He was quoted in an interview gloating about knocking an OLineman out for a while after going at his knees and in the Buffalo game he gloated a lot when he knocked a WR out, even appearing to come back over yelling at him to "get up" well after the medical staff was tending to him.

That might drop him a bit on some team's boards.
I'll tell you right now that Rex Ryan will have a fetish with stuff like this and will be begging for Idzik to pull the trigger somewhere with one of our 2 3rd round picks if he's there.

Would love him on our team, we need safety improvement at both SS and FS.
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Old 02-15-2014, 10:42 AM    (permalink
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Something that hasn't been said yet about this player....really good special teams player. Dude had opposing special teams coaches shaking because he was a playmaker for blocking punts.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:46 AM    (permalink
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Something that hasn't been said yet about this player....really good special teams player. Dude had opposing special teams coaches shaking because he was a playmaker for blocking punts.
That's a solid point. Teams look for safety nets with players. They look at best case and worst case. Three blocked kick/punts as a Freshman. Also tells team that if he does need seasoning on the bench (don't anticipate this being the case), he'll be willing and able to contribute in other areas.
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Old 05-11-2014, 03:20 AM    (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.
Your last name wouldn't happen to be Baalke would it?

Jokes aside, I compared him to Weddle in this very thread. His speed turned out to better than most thought, running a 4.45 at his pro day, on a fractured foot no less. If he can give me a Weddle type of security blanket against the deep ball, while bulking up to around 200 lbs to better help him in the box, I will be beyond excited.

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Old 05-11-2014, 07:58 AM    (permalink
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Jim Harbaugh had a really good interview on ESPN about Ward. Among the compliments he gave him:

1. Always seems to react a step earlier than everyone else on the field.
2. If you're looking for a "best game," put on any game, because he's the same player every week.
3. Noted his ball skills and play making ability.
4. Said he has a knack for making the appropriate tackle, and that he does it with violence.

The 49ers, Cardinals, and Rams all drafted major talents at the safety position, and I don't think that's a coincidence.
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Old 05-11-2014, 09:02 AM    (permalink
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What did you expect the HC to say? No HC will say one thing negative about his GM's picks if he wants to keep his job. I've never seen a HC complain about a prospect till he cuts him after the exhibition season, till then it is all glowing reports.

Ward and Bucannon were in unique situations which likely moved them up draft boards. There were only 4 solid prospects at Safety in this year's draft and if you wanted one, you were going to have to use a 1st rounder on them or lose any chance of getting one especially drafting as late as the 49ers did.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:03 PM    (permalink
E_Bird
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What did you expect the HC to say? No HC will say one thing negative about his GM's picks if he wants to keep his job. I've never seen a HC complain about a prospect till he cuts him after the exhibition season, till then it is all glowing reports.

Ward and Bucannon were in unique situations which likely moved them up draft boards. There were only 4 solid prospects at Safety in this year's draft and if you wanted one, you were going to have to use a 1st rounder on them or lose any chance of getting one especially drafting as late as the 49ers did.
The notes are very specific and accurate. They're not, 'Oh, yeah, he plays with heart.'
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:15 PM    (permalink
fredder
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I would never use the word violent to describe Ward. The rest of the praise is valid. There's a lot to like about Ward's game.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:28 PM    (permalink
E_Bird
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I would never use the word violent to describe Ward. The rest of the praise is valid. There's a lot to like about Ward's game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7M86M3E0UUc

I don't think he's saying that he's Ronnie Lott, but Ward makes hits that separate WR's from the ball, and he has more career FF's than CJ Mosley.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:39 PM    (permalink
fredder
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I don't see that level of hit from him very often, especially in run support. He's more of a sure tackler IMO than an intimidator. I prefer that to Bucannon who's the complete opposite. I just disagree with the use of the word violent.
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Old 05-11-2014, 02:44 PM    (permalink
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Violent is one of Harbaughs favourite words to describe defensive guys so always have to take that with a grain of salt.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:26 PM    (permalink
phlysac
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Ward, himself, stated that you need to be smart about when you go for the big hit and when you just wrap up. He says that always going for the big hit only results in missed tackles and getting injured. He said that it's his job to get the man with the ball on the ground and missing a tackle is a sign of a loser.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:42 PM    (permalink
E_Bird
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Ward, himself, stated that you need to be smart about when you go for the big hit and when you just wrap up. He says that always going for the big hit only results in missed tackles and getting injured. He said that it's his job to get the man with the ball on the ground and missing a tackle is a sign of a loser.
I hadn't heard that, but it perfectly fits with the way he plays - and the comment Harbaugh made about him making the appropriate tackle. As much as anything, he has a great feel for the game in all phases. He's a natural, and he's detail oriented.
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