2014 NFL Draft: Northern Illinois Safety Jimmie Ward

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

If the Bears don't take a safety in the first round, Jimmie Ward might be an option for them in Round 2.

Last week we looked at a second round defensive back; this week we'll turn our attention to the safety portion of that backfield, as the Bears have had a lot of turnover at that position this offseason but could stand to add another body. And if they don't take a safety in the first round, Jimmie Ward could be a player they look at in the second round.

Ward led NIU in tackles with 95, including 62 solo tackles, and had 7 interceptions to go with ten pass breakups. According to his CBS profile, he excels at diagnosing a play and taking good angles in pursuit. He may be a little short for a safety, but he also projects to be able to play cornerback, particularly in man-to-man. And according to WalterFootball, he's short. And undersized. And players can catch over him. Did we mention he's smaller?

Ward compares to Glover Quin according to CBS, a smaller safety but one that has so far held a spot as a decent starting safety. His versatility could also make him an attractive pick. Currently he's lined up as the 42nd overall prospect according to CBS and top strong safety in the draft. WF's mock puts him at 45 to the Detroit Lions, six picks ahead of the Bears.

Is Ward a player you'd make a small trade-up for?

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