Know Your Enemy: San Francisco 49ers, 2014 NFL Draft Round 1

Posted May 8, 2014

A closer look at who the San Francisco 49ers targeted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The NFC West was the strongest division in football a season ago, posting the best combined record (44-22) across the NFL's eight divisions. The division features the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, last year's NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers, an Arizona Cardinals team coming off a 10-win season, and a St. Louis Rams squad stocked with quality picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.

So with this year's draft finally underway, we think it's pretty important to keep tabs on some of the Seahawks' closest rivals.

Here's a look at what the 49ers did on day one of the League's annual event:

The Pick: FS Jimmie Ward, Round 1, No. 30 Overall

Who He Is: A 5-foot-10, 197-pound free safety out of Northern Illinois.

What He's Done: Tallied 95 tackles, seven interceptions, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and one forced fumble in 14 starts for the Huskies in 2013. Analysis: "Wiry, active, aggressive strong safety at his best playing downhill and reacting to plays in front him, yet possesses the cover skill to range over the top or lock down defenders in the slot. Ability to stay healthy in the future given lack of size and durability is the biggest concern. A very talented football player who could slide a round or two based on size, medical evaluations and attitude. Can contribute immediately at any safety position and positively affect the game if healthy and focused."

What It Means: The Niners add a rangy "center-fielder" type to their defense who head coach Jim Harbaugh said will provide "corner skills" to the position. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke added Ward can also play strong safety and contribute at nickel cornerback.

What's Next: As it stands, the 49ers hold a whopping five picks on the draft's second day - two in the second round (No. 56 & 61 overall) and three in the third round (No. 77, 94 & 100 overall).