Scouting Report: Eli Ward

The Gophers have a few players hoping to get drafted by an NFL team in late April. Safety Eli Ward is one of them, but he may be a longshot. Get TFY Draft Preview's analysis of Ward with the first in a series of looks at Gophers entering the draft.

Name: Eli Ward School Minnesota Year 5Sr
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 200 40: 4.71 Pos: S

Bio: Three-year starter who led the team in tackles last year with 96/3/5 after junior totals of 116/2/5.

Pos: Explosive run-stuffing safety best playing downhill. Physical, displays a terrific burst of closing speed and flashes on the scene. Hard hitting and wraps up tackling. Solid nose for the ball and quick to diagnose. Does not have a big frame, yet strong for his size.

Neg: Lacks cover skills, loses opponents in deep coverage and does not make many plays when the ball's in the air.

Analysis: Much like former Gopher Tyrone Carter, Ward is a run first/run only safety and his best chance would be in a zone-type system.

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