The 49ers will be faced with a tough decision at this point. There are a number of defensive prospects who could be on the board for them, and they have options at linebacker and defensive back here. That said, they can afford to take the best available player, and that is probably Denzel Ward.
Ward is one of the best cornerbacks in the draft class. Ward comes from Ohio State, a school that has produced a lot of talent in the defensive backfield over the course of the past few seasons. Ward is the latest in a string of players who could develop into No. 1 cornerbacks, and it seems likely that he will be a quality player.
At the Combine, Ward was one of the best defensive backs on the field, as he blazed a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash and looked very good during the on-field drills. Ward is a smooth athlete with really good technique, and he should be a solid player right away. He may need to add some strength to be more effective, but the fact is that his athletic ability will allow him to start right away.
On the surface, cornerback may not look like a big need for the 49ers. After all, they just signed Richard Sherman, and third round rookie Ahkello Witherspoon looked very good in 2017. However, the team has virtually no depth behind those two. Considering that Sherman is coming off an Achilles tear and he is now 30, having some quality depth will be critical.
To start his career, Ward could play the nickel and then eventually move outside. He would provide depth and excellent coverage ability. Yes, the 49ers could opt to get a starter at another position, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is a strong option, but getting a player who is potentially the best corner in this class may be too good to pass up at this point. So, Ward will be the pick for now.