The 49ers have signed first and third round draft picks DB Jimmie Ward and LB Chris Borland to four year contracts on Thursday evening. Both players were signed less than 24 hours before the team's rookie camp which will begin on Friday.
Ward was the team's first-round draft pick at 30th overall where he will immediately compete for a role as a nickel cornerback. He has all the coverage skills needed in the slot and can be a physical defender. Ward joins a mix of Chris Culliver, Perrish Cox, Eric Wright, fourth-round draft pick Dontae Johnson and Darryl Morris at cornerback.
Borland was a third-round pick after a sequence of trading down and back up in Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft. While some scouts have viewed him as slow and undersized for a linebacker, he has been a productive player for tackling. In the short term, he will compete with Michael Wilhoite for the second inside linebacker starting role to play alongside Patrick Willis to start 2014. NaVorro Bowman will begin the season recovering from a torn ACL which he suffered in the NFC Championship game. Borland can also play on special teams.
Nine of the 12 draft picks in the 2014 49ers draft class have been signed by the team. OL Brandon Thomas, OL Marcus Martin and WR Bruce Ellington are the only three who are unsigned.