The 49ers have one certainty on the tight finish place within the type of George Kittle. Past maybe the very best all-around tight finish in soccer, San Francisco has solely query marks in that space.
San Francisco is aware of it would persistently get All-Professional caliber play from Kittle. Judging what they are going to get from these gamers behind him on the depth chart is tougher.
There is no such thing as a outlined second or third tight finish on the Niners’ roster, and whether or not they’ll carry a fourth will probably be a query all through camp.
With the identification of Kittle’s backups and the extent of tight finish depth San Francisco will carry on the 53-man group undecided, the battle for the reserve tight finish spots will probably be an fascinating under-the-radar competitors to comply with. Here is how the place group appears to be like a month out from coaching camp:
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Kittle took one thing of a backseat to Deebo Samuel as the point of interest of the San Francisco offense final season. Nonetheless, he nonetheless demonstrated the worth of his remarkably well-rounded ability set in a Professional Bowl yr the place he completed with 910 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 14 video games.
The problem for Kittle will probably be to remain wholesome for a full season. He has not finished so for the reason that 2018 marketing campaign and the ceiling of the Niners offense will probably be greater if he can keep away from harm and play a full 17-game slate.
(AP Picture / Invoice Kostroun)
Woerner took over because the 49ers ’second tight finish in 2021, enjoying practically 23 p.c of the offensive snaps whereas Ross Dwelley performed a bit of underneath 18 p.c, per Professional Soccer Reference. His influence stays restricted predominantly to blocking with simply eight catches in his first two seasons.
The previous sixth-round decide’s affect in move safety and run blocking will seemingly see him retain a spot on the roster, although he may see his snaps lower with a number of potential third tight ends possessing ability units extra conducive to receiving manufacturing.
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Dwelley’s versatility has beforehand added nice worth to the 49ers offense, significantly within the 2019 season when he crammed in for each Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. In 2021, nonetheless, his influence was minimal. Dwelley made solely 4 receptions for 51 yards and a landing whereas enjoying fewer snaps than Woerner on offense and particular groups.
Kittle and Woerner are superior blockers, which suggests Dwelley’s case for a spot on the 53-man roster is turning into harder to make, particularly contemplating the competitors the Niners have added for the TE3 spot.
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A participant whose manufacturing has been severely hindered by accidents since his career-high 404 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017, Kroft needs to be thought of firmly within the combine to unseat Dwelley and declare a spot on the roster.
Nonetheless solely 29, Kroft nonetheless has time to revitalize his profession and becoming a member of the 49ers will give him an opportunity to do this since he’ll a minimum of be aware of Kyle Shanahan’s system after enjoying for Shanahan disciple Mike LaFleur throughout his sole season with the New York Jets.
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Signed by the Niners following a profitable tryout in the course of the crew’s rookie minicamp, Fumagalli has bounced across the NFL since being drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2017. He was a productive pass-catcher in faculty with Wisconsin, however that has not translated to the professionals . Fumagalli has solely 14 catches in his profession and was not famend for his blocking popping out of faculty. He might want to impress considerably in a type of areas to have a shot of constructing the roster.
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The previous Tampa Bay Buccaneer spent final season on the Niners’ follow squad and may very well be a darkish horse to say a roster spot. Hudson has already been on the receiving finish of targets from Trey Lance in the course of the offseason program, together with one he reeled in with a one-handed catch on a deep submit in the course of the offseason program.
A continuation of their rapport in coaching camp might be sufficient for him to seal a spot on the 53. If he fails in that quest, Hudson appears to be like prone to be a candidate to supply insurance coverage on the follow squad as soon as once more.
(AP Picture / Tony Avelar)
Matthews will as soon as extra attempt to crack the Niners’ roster as a large receiver turned tight finish having spent final season on the follow squad in that function. He definitely has the scale for the place and his expertise as a receiver aids him by way of route-running. Then again, his struggles as a blocker imply a spot on the energetic roster ought to proceed to elude him.