With the 35th pick in Pride Of Detroit's 2014 NFL mock draft, the Cleveland Browns select Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. Bighaircut is serving as the Browns' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
Jimmie Ward is a FS/SS hybrid-type safety from Northern Illinois. In free agency this year, the Browns lost their best safety (T.J. Ward) and signed an aging Donte Whitner, so they still have an open starting spot for someone. Enter Jimmie Ward.
Many draft outlets have Jimmie Ward being selected in rounds 2-3, and most thought he would improve his stock with a good combine, but a foot injury kept him from competing. Ward plays with a style similar to our very own Glover Quin. He lacks the size that most coaches and front offices want, but makes up for that with his intensity, aggressiveness and football IQ. A four-year player in the MAC helps his stock, as he has improved his game every year. The last three years saw him total 300 tackles, 26 passes defended and 11 INTs, seven of which came in his last year.
Ward is a very interesting prospect for many NFL teams, especially one like the Browns, which need a young but experienced safety in the back. He also gives the Browns the flexibility of using him in either the FS or SS role, allowing them to shore up the other position once Whitner leaves or retires.
Check out the 2014 POD Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.