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Jimmie Ward receives an honorable mention among top safeties in ESPN rankings

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

ESPN is rounding out their positional rankings with safeties, as the San Francisco 49ers have a pair that were in the running. The No. 1 safety on the list? Jamal Adams, who one NFC executive called the second-best defensive player in football.

It would have been tough for either Jimmie Ward or Jaquiski Tartt to make the top 10 safeties as they are all lumped together. Micah Hyde, who ranked No. 10, had second-place votes. Everyone in the top 10 did.

Ward was the first safety listed as an honorable mention:

Jimmie Ward, San Francisco 49ers: ”Smooth in coverage. Watch him against the Rams last year. He was dominant. He can play all four DB spots and is great in the slot.” — NFL coordinator

Ward thrived in the n eraser role in 2019. The Rams game is a great example of Ward’s versatility, as mentioned. You can see him in the slot covering Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, and playing the post safety showing off his deep range. Ward started the most games of his career, and it was no surprise he had his best season. Ward’s success rate in coverage was 72%, which was fourth in the NFL. His average yards per pass allowed was 5.1, which was 11th highest in the NFL. Throw in eight pass breakups, and that’s why the 49ers free safety was reWarded with a three-year deal. I’m happy for Jimmie. He deserved a new deal.