Former NIU Huskies’s star Jimmie Ward was selected 30th overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Ward became the second highest drafted NIU player in the school’s history, drafted only later than Larry English, who was taken by the San Diego Chargers at no.16 in the 2008 NFL Draft. The question now is, can Jimmie Ward compete in an already deep defense?
Ward will get a small chance to play Week 1, as the team’s signing Antoine Bethea isn’t considered a ground-breaking move. Bethea, as of now, will join Eric Reid in the 49ers’ all-of-a-sudden depleted secondary.
Ward was a First Team All-American this past season with the Huskies. One good thing for Ward is that one of his best games in college came in his biggest game, racking up 14 tackles in the team’s Orange Bowl loss to Florida State. Ward has great intangibles and ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Ward is another NIU player to watch out for, and the Chicago Bears will get to see Ward, whether he plays or not, Week 2 when they travel for the first regular season game at the 49ers’ new stadium, Levi’s Stadium.