ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper's first mock draft had the San Francisco 49ers selecting cornerback Denzel Ward of Ohio State. In his latest mock draft (version 2.0), nothing has changed for the 49ers.

The pick seems to be a popular one for the 49ers among ESPN draft analysts. Todd McShay also had San Francisco selecting Ward within his latest mock.

While the 49ers' draft spot will be determined by a coin flip with the Oakland Raiders during the NFL Scouting Combine, Kiper has them selecting ninth overall. They could be choosing tenth if they lose the tiebreaker.

Kiper wrote the following about the selection:

"No change for the 49ers here, as Ward would give them a true No. 1 cornerback on top of a super talented front seven. Ward is polished, though he's not huge (5-10, 191) like 6-2 Ahkello Witherspoon, San Francisco's third-round pick last year. Ward had two interceptions and 15 pass breakups in 2017, and he plays the ball well and has good instincts."

Ward, who is an underclassman, has appeared in 26 games over three seasons with Ohio State. During that time, he has 67 combined tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions, and 24 passes defensed, according to Sports Reference.

As Kiper mentioned, Witherspoon, one of the 49ers' starting cornerbacks, completed his rookie season in 2017. The other starter, Dontae Johnson, is scheduled to become a free agent. After a season of erratic play within defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's system, he is not expected to be re-signed.

The 2018 NFL Draft takes place April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It will be the first draft to take place in an NFL stadium.

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