NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Rams, Ward

Rookie Jimmie Ward is listed as a safety but the 49ers envision him beating out veterans Perrish Cox and Eric Wright to win the job as the team’s nickel back, writes CSNBayArea’s Matt Maiocco. Technically, barring injury, Ward will not be a starter in his rookie season. However, the 49ers had three cornerbacks on the field for 55% of their defensive snaps last season. More out of the NFC West..

  • Rams GM Les Snead tells Josina Anderson of (on Twitter) that the plan, as of now, is to stand pat with the No. 44 selection in the second round. The picks that come later in the draft, however, could be moved around.
  • The 49ers resisted the temptation to move up in the draft last night, Maiocco writes. San Francisco might have viewed LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as a target, but the price proved to be steep. “We certainly liked him as a football player, no doubt about it,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said of Beckham, who was chosen at No. 12 overall by the Giants.
  • 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told KNBR 680-AM that Ward will face a learning curve to learn the nickel position, writes Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group.
  • Last night, the Rams reaped the final rewards of the Robert Griffin III trade with the Redskins, writes Nick Wagoner of At this point, the Redskins got a starting QB while the Rams got a starter at defensive tackle, cornerback, linebacker, running back, and the offensive line with a receiver who could elevate to that role this year.
  • Many were surprised when the 49ers didn’t grab a wide receiver in the first round, but GM Baalke says that he likes the WR depth available in round two, writes Matt Maiocco of It also seems very possible that Baalke knew that the Stevie Johnson deal was on the horizon during last night’s proceedings.
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