Questions abound at TE behind George Kittle

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 constantly get All-Professional caliber play from Kittle. Judging what they may 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 likely be a query all through camp.

With the id 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 likely be an attention-grabbing under-the-radar competitors to observe. Here is how the place group seems a month out from coaching camp:

George Kittle

(Picture by Christian Petersen / Getty Pictures)

Kittle took one thing of a backseat to Deebo Samuel as the focus of the San Francisco offense final season. Nevertheless, he nonetheless demonstrated the worth of his remarkably well-rounded ability set in a Professional Bowl 12 months the place he completed with 910 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns in 14 video games.

The problem for Kittle will likely 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 likely be larger if he can keep away from harm and play a full 17-game slate.

Charlie Woerner

(AP Picture / Invoice Kostroun)

Woerner took over because the 49ers ’second tight finish in 2021, taking part in practically 23 p.c of the offensive snaps whereas Ross Dwelley performed somewhat below 18 p.c, per Professional Soccer Reference. His impression stays restricted predominantly to blocking with simply eight catches in his first two seasons.

The previous sixth-round choose’s affect in go safety and run blocking will possible 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.

Ross Dwelley

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Dwelley’s versatility has beforehand added nice worth to the 49ers offense, significantly within the 2019 season when he stuffed in for each Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. In 2021, nevertheless, his impression was minimal. Dwelley made solely 4 receptions for 51 yards and a landing whereas taking part in fewer snaps than Woerner on offense and particular groups.

Kittle and Woerner are superior blockers, which implies 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.

Tyler Kroft

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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 ought 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 not less than be conversant in Kyle Shanahan’s system after taking part in for Shanahan disciple Mike LaFleur throughout his sole season with the New York Jets.

Troy Fumagalli

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Signed by the Niners following a profitable tryout through 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 school. He might want to impress considerably in a kind of areas to have a shot of constructing the roster.

Tanner Hudson

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The previous Tampa Bay Buccaneer spent final season on the Niners’ apply squad and could possibly be a darkish horse to assert a roster spot. Hudson has already been on the receiving finish of targets from Trey Lance through the offseason program, together with one he reeled in with a one-handed catch on a deep publish through the offseason program.

A continuation of their rapport in coaching camp could be sufficient for him to seal a spot on the 53. If he fails in that quest, Hudson seems more likely to be a candidate to offer insurance coverage on the apply squad as soon as once more.

Jordan Matthews

(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 apply squad in that position. He definitely has the scale for the place and his expertise as a receiver aids him by way of route-running. However, his struggles as a blocker imply a spot on the lively roster ought to proceed to elude him.

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