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Kansas City Chiefs Should Target NIU Safety Jimmie Ward in 2014 NFL Draft

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

There are several areas that the Kansas City Chiefs will look to upgrade through the draft this coming April. Before seeing what they do in free agency, it looks like wide receiver, defensive end and the secondary will be the most targeted areas.

The Chiefs should go after the best available player that can help them in those positions, which means if Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix isn’t available when they pick in the first round (23rd overall), they’ll have to wait until round three before they can try for another bargain at the safety position due to the Alex Smith trade.

One player Kansas City should hope makes a drop late into the third round is Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. He is a big-time playmaker, compiling an impressive 95 tackles and six interceptions in his senior season. The weaker competition in the Mid-American Conference and his undersized 5-foot-11, 191-pound frame could cause him to slip, but the stir he caused during Senior Bowl week could erase all of those doubts.

Kansas City needs to replace free safety Kendrick Lewis, who became a big weakness in the defense as the 2013 season progressed. Lewis is heading into free agency and there’s a good chance he doesn’t come back next season.

Though he’s more of a strong safety type, Ward definitely has the abilities to fill in at free safety for the Chiefs. Ward can sniff out plays with the best of them and despite being undersized; he still has a respectable 77 1/8-inch wingspan. If Ward does drop to the Chiefs in the third round, they would be foolish to pass up on him.

Aaron Charles is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for Follow him on twitter @aaroncharleskc or add him to your network on Google

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