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Northern Illinois' Ward remains among top safeties with strong pro day

Mar. 7, 2014
 
Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward intercepts a pass intended for Toledo's Alonzo Russell during a game Nov. 20, 2013.
Northern Illinois' Jimmie Ward intercepts a pass intended for Toledo's Alonzo Russell during a game Nov. 20, 2013. / File/Getty Images

Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward’s workout today appears to have solidified his status as a second-round draft pick.

The Packers could be in the market to draft a safety high and no doubt are monitoring Ward’s offseason work, though according to Tony Pauline of walterfootball.com they were not among the teams that sent a defensive backs coach to the workout. With all the gamesmanship that goes on in draft season, though, that doesn’t mean anything one way or the other.

Pauline reported that Ward ran the 40 in the 4.6-second to 4.51-second range, which is good for the position. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune also reported that Ward had a 38-inch vertical jump, which tied for first among safeties who worked out at the NFL scouting combine, and 10-5 broad jump, which tied for second from the combine.

Ward is on the smaller side for a safety at 5-10 ¾ and 193 pounds but reportedly showed good cover skills and range at the Senior Bowl. He didn’t work out at the combine because of a hamstring injury. He also has a stress fracture in his foot and told reporters he’s having surgery next week and will expects to be cleared for all activity six to eight weeks after that.

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