Former Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward is in California on Thursday to visit with the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the No. 9 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, according to a report from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
Ward, who is widely projected to be the first cornerback selected in this year's draft and Ohio State's fifth first-round cornerback in five years, could be a serious candidate to be the 49ers' first-round pick, as has been projected in several mock drafts leading up to the draft, which begins on April 26.
NFL teams are only allowed to bring in up to 30 players for pre-draft visits, so hosting a prospect is typically a sign of real interest. Ward isn't the only potential top-10 pick getting a closer look from the 49ers in the weeks leading up to the draft, however; other prospects who have visited or are scheduled to visit the 49ers and are expected to be high first-round picks include Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith and Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco.
Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter is also visiting the 49ers on Thursday, according to Rapoport's report, but Carter is projected to be a second- or third-round pick.
Ward, who tied for the fastest 40-yard dash at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, is looking to become the third Buckeye cornerback in three years to be selected in the top 11 picks, following Eli Apple (No. 10 overall in 2016) and Marshon Lattimore (No. 11 overall in 2017).