After months of speculation, the San Francisco 49ers did not make the move up many expected. The 49ers drafted Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward without pulling the trigger on a deal to move up the draft board. There were a lot of rumors regarding a potential move into the top 10, and it reached a fevered pitch when the Oakland Raiders came on the clock.
This is certainly an interesting pick, and a little bit of a head-scratcher. The 49ers signed Antoine Bethea to pair with Eric Reid, but Ward would seem to be a potential long-term option at the safety. My guess is maybe they think he'll do some nickel work. He was a safety, but I'm reading that he was a decent man-to-man guy at times. I have to think that's the role we see.
49ers Remaining Draft Picks
1. First round: Jimmie Ward, DB, Northern Illinois
2. Second round: Chiefs (Alex Smith trade) - No. 24 (No. 56 overall)
3. Second round: own - No. 29 (No. 61 overall)
4. Third round: Titans (2013 draft trade) - No. 13 (No. 77 overall)
5. Third round: own - No. 30 (No. 94 overall)
6. Third round: Comp for Dashon Goldson FA departure - No. 36 (No. 100 overall)
7. Fourth round: own - No. 29 (No. 129 overall)
8. Fifth round: own - No. 30 (No. 170 overall)
9. Seventh round: Saints (Parys Haralson trade) - No. 27 (No. 242 overall)
10. Seventh round: Panthers (Colin Jones trade) - No. 28 (No. 243 overall)
11. Seventh round: own - No. 30 - (No. 245 overall)