There will be plenty for fans to watch Thursday night in the 49ers' exhibition opener vs. the Baltimore Ravens.It'll be interesting to see how backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert plays, and what his future may hold. And important players for 2014 -- rookie running back Carlos Hyde, nose tackle Quinton Dial, wide receiver Stevie Johnson and cornerback Chris Culliver (back after missing all of 2013) – should get significant playing time against the Ravens.But the game also marks the pro debut of No. 1 pick Jimmie Ward, who's received solid reviews in training camp.For the first time, Ward will be matched up against NFL players as he makes the transition from Northern Illinois safety to professional cornerback. San Francisco's coaching staff hopes Ward has the talent to cover slot receivers in the team's nickel pass coverage scheme in 2014.Ward, who'll wear No. 25, was a surprising first-round pick by the Niners.But so far, Ward has exceeded expectations. He's played well, made athletic plays in coverage and proved to be smart and a quick study.Matt Barrows, who covers the 49ers for the Sacramento Bee, wrote this week that Ward is expected to see action at both nickel corner and...