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Report: 49ers hosting Denzel Ward, Lorenzo Carter for official pre-draft-visits on Thursday

The 49ers are likely to be looking for impact players on defense fairly early.

The San Francisco 49ers have two more names to add to their list of official 2018 pre-draft visits. The team is bringing in Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter on Thursday, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.

Ward has been regularly mentioned as an option at No. 9, although as we move closer to the draft, he could be a decent bet to go before the 49ers get on the board. At 5’10, 190 pounds, he does not exactly fit the precise physical mold the 49ers might be looking for at cornerback, but he has put together solid press coverage in spite of his height. One question might be how that will hold up against bigger NFL bodies.

If the 49ers are comfortable with that transition, he makes a lot of sense. The 49ers have Ahkello Witherspoon, Richard Sherman, and Jimmie Ward competing at the outside corner positions, but there is room for Ward. Ward is in the final year of his contract, and Sherman has limited guarantees in his contract. The team needs more cornerbacks.

Carter could fit in as a potential strong side linebacker who could move down to the line in nickel situations. He stands 6’6, 250 pounds, and Lance Zierlein projects him as a potential day two pick. The team needs edge help, and SAM linebacker Eli Harold is entering the final year of his contract. The team will almost assuredly add a linebacker in the draft, but ideally they could find a versatile SAM/edge option.