NFL draft: 49ers met with DB prospect who could replace free agent FS Jimmie Ward
It would behoove the 49ers to re-sign free safety Jimmie Ward, who’s scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency when the league year opens March 15. They may not have much of a choice given what his market looks like and whether he has a desire to return to the team that drafted him in the first round back in 2014. If Ward does walk though, NFL draft prospect Jammie Robinson could be someone the 49ers target to replace their longest-tenured player.
The Draft Network’s Justin Melo reported Robinson spoke formally with the 49ers at the NFL combine. They were one of five teams that met with the Florida State product.
Robinson, listed at 5-11, 194 pounds, has similar versatility to Ward according to NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein. In his write-up on Robinson, Zierlein wrote Robinson projects as either a safety or a nickel corner in the NFL.
One of the things that makes Ward most valuable to San Francisco is his ability to play the free safety spot, while bringing the coverage skills necessary to slide into the slot on occasion. Last year he wound up playing nickel cornerback for the entire year after injuries at CB and the emergence of veteran FS Tashaun Gipson. While the 49ers may not necessarily target Robinson as a nickel corner, his versatility will surely matter for a team looking to fill Ward’s shoes.
Robinson was consistently productive during his four-year college career, which saw him split time with two years at South Carolina and two years at Florida State.
In 47 games he posted 318 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions and 16 pass breakups. He also notched a sack last year for the Seminoles — the first of his career.
The 49ers may aim to bring Ward back next season, but if they don’t, it’s hard to believe their meeting with Robinson at the combine will be their last.
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