The San Francisco 49ers announced their undrafted free agent signings Monday evening, and the 49ers appeared to win out a modest battle for the services of tight end Asante Cleveland. According to Matt Barrows, the Miami (FL) product was sought after by the 49ers, Eagles and Patriots. Our man Jason Hurley is reporting the 49ers ended up paying him an $8,000 signing bonus. UDFA contracts are usually for the league minimum, and generally are three year contracts instead of the normal four year version for drafted players.
There is not a ton of information about Cleveland, in large part because he was used almost exclusively as a blocker. Over the course of his college career, Cleveland had 14 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown. The folks at Draft Insider offered up a scouting report, in which they described him as a wait-and-see type of prospect. They said his strengths included having good size, solid blocking skills, and generally moving well on the field. However, he lacks much speed, and without seeing what he's done as a pass catcher, he's looking mostly like no more than a third tight end for now.
The Palm Beach Post had similar comments:
Tight end Asante Cleveland wasn’t given the chance to showcase his pass-catching skills at UM – his only touchdown grab came in his final college game, the 2013 regular-season finale at Pitt – but was an effective blocker in double-tight end sets. He’s 6-5, 260 and could be a solid depth tight end on an NFL roster.
The 49ers head into the bulk of their offseason workout program with five tight ends on the roster. Cleveland joins Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier. Davis and McDonald are not going anywhere, but there will be plenty of competition for that third tight end role behind that.