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49ers sign top draft pick Ward to four-year deal

Published: Thursday, May 22, 2014 8:30 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, May 22, 2014 11:17 p.m. CDT
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(Rob Winner)
Monica Maschak - mmaschak@shawmedia.com Safety Jimmie Ward jumps up with teammate Sean Evans in celebration of Ward's interception during the fourth quarter against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, August 31, 2013. The Huskies won the game 30-27.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers have signed first-round draft pick safety Jimmie Ward and third-round selection Chris Borland to four-year contracts.

Ward was selected 30th overall this month out of Northern Illinois. The team announced the deals Thursday ahead of their rookie minicamp starting Friday.

The 5-foot-10, 193-pound Ward started all 14 games at strong safety last season, leading the Huskies with 95 tackles — 62 solo — with a 10-yard sack and 10 pass deflections. While starting 39 of 55 games for his career, 12 of those came at left cornerback.

Borland was the second of three third-round picks at 77th overall. He ended his Wisconsin career as the school's sixth-leading tackler with 410. The linebacker had 15 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, a blocked punt and 17 sacks.

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