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Does Vance McDonald have a future with the 49ers?

McDonald hasn't panned out since the 49ers took him in the second round of 2013.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have some serious issues at the tight end position, but you didn't need me to tell you that. Even before the team elected to trade long-time veteran Vernon Davis to the Denver Broncos, the 49ers were lagging big time at the position.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that Vance McDonald, a second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, has not developed into a reliable pass-catcher. McDonald didn't do much well at all in his rookie year, but he eventually developed into a very good blocker. But he remained bad in the passing game, and was anything but the dependable, big-bodied receiver the 49ers envisioned when they drafted him.

McDonald doesn't have good hands, and he doesn't run great routes. He has multiple drops in each of his seasons, though I've found official drop stats to be relatively unreliable so I'm not going to cite any of them. You guys know he has his drops, and you guys know that in three seasons McDonald has just 19 receptions for 213 yards with no touchdowns.

That's in 31 career games, in which McDonald has been the primary backup until Garrett Celek started to usurp him this season. Celek was always regarded as a third-string blocker at best, but even he is a more reliable, consistent receiving target than McDonald at this stage of his career. Celek has 17 receptions for 151 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

Against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9, McDonald caught two passes for 19 yards. He was targeted five times, and he had one egregiously bad drop, on a pass thrown by Colin Kaepernick. No, Kaepernick completing that pass wouldn't have really changed anything, but it was disappointing to see McDonald's continuing lack of concentration on display.

This offseason, the 49ers brought in Blake Bell and Busta Anderson, tight ends that have more promise than either McDonald or Celek. I don't think the 49ers are done adding tight ends, and will look to address the position in the offseason. My question is this: is McDonald done as a 49ers player?

I'm not certain he has a future with the team going forward, which would be surprising given he was a second rounder but he's shown almost no promise this year and wasn't very good last year, either. I think the McDonald era is over in San Francisco, personally.