Jimmie Ward is the player in the scouting spotlight tonight, safety from Northern Illinois.
Why? Because I like him. A lot of times, if you follow this site, you notice we scout players in reaction to tweets, posts, or any other insight we find stating that a particular player is visiting with the Jets. This time, this is a player that I like the fit of for the New York Jets. He was good enough for me to pick in my Daily News article, he certainly is good enough for here.
So Jimmie Ward is the topic tonight. Let’s get right to it.
Here are his stats from Northern Illinois:
Defense & Fumbles
Due to an injury, Ward did not participate in the NFL combine, other than the bench press, in which he performed nine reps.
Jimmie Ward, is 5’11″, and 193 pounds.
Here are some Jimmie Ward highlights:
PROS: One major pro is that he should be able to add his skills from day one, with four blocked kicks in college. Special teams play is the best way to make your mark fast.
As far as the tape is concerned, he has a nose for the football. Ward knows where it is, and he has the quality of the hands to go with it. He can close quickly on any given ball carrier as well. Ward is a good tackler too.
CONS: Per NFL.com:
Size is just adequate — lacks ideal bulk and is built more like a cornerback than a safety. Bench-pressed 225 pounds just nine times at the combine, second fewest among DBs. Gets snagged on blocks and struggles to disengage. Can be a tick late diagnosing pass, gaining depth and digesting route combos. Lacks elite top-end speed. Inconsistent downfield ball reactions with his back to the throw. Shows lower-body stiffness in space. Could rub some people the wrong way. Has some maturing to do and needs to learn what it means to prepare like a pro.
The size is not a major issue to me, when you take into account the fact that Ed Reed is also 5’11″,weighing in 205 pounds, which isn’t much different than what we have seen from Ward.
The maturity factor is a red flag. If Ward has character issues, he isn’t worthy of a choice, we don’t need that. But if it can be worked through, Ward can be an asset.
If Jimmie Ward checks out as far as his health, and his character, he is a worthy choice in the second round. He has big play ability, which the Jets sorely need.