Day 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft is in the books, and the San Francisco 49ers stayed put at No. 30, which would be surprising if not for the fact that the 49ers being surprising is unsurprising. San Francisco made waves by selecting Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward.
Personally, I like the pick a lot. There's a couple things to take into consideration when you look at this pick, and I think one thing needs to be noted in particular: Ward was not a reach under any definition of the term. He was arguably the top safety in the draft and was routinely mocked at the back-end of the first round.
Secondly, Ward provides value now given that he can start at the nickel position. A wide receiver in the first or a corner early in the first has pressure to start at No. 1 or No. 2, and I don't see that with Ward. Meanwhile, the 49ers can get a wide receiver in the second round -- keep in mind this is the best wide receiver draft we've seen in YEARS. Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin were going to play a lot next season, and Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver would have been difficult to unseat as starters.
Needless to say, I'm a fan of the pick. Onto your links for the day.
Cover 2: First Round Draft Recap (49ers)