Ravens second-round draft candidate: Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward

Jimmie Ward is a versatile safety that could very well wind up being a second-round draft pick this May. - Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Watch highlights of Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward.

One of the areas that the Ravens will need to address this offseason, whether its in free agency or the draft, is safety.

In terms of immediate-impact guys at free safety, Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Louisville's Calvin Pryor are guys that will likely go in the first round. After that, the position group isn't that deep with talent that can step in immediately.

One guy that stood out at the Senior Bowl to a lot of analysts was Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. A strong safety in college, Ward does possess the necessary attributes to play free safety at the next level if needed. After all, free and strong safety are often interchangeable at the NFL level.

Ward is a rangy player with speed, who also packs some power when tackling in the running game. Take a look for yourself with this highlight clip below (granted, this is from his junior season):

But here's a play from this past season, one that could make your jaw drop:


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