The important part of NFL free agency has wrapped up, and the San Francisco 49ers return their entire tight end depth chart from last year. Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier each hit free agency (albeit restricted), but the 49ers extended both of them. Celek signed a 1-year contract, and Carrier signed a 2-year contract.
Now that those two are back under contract, the team's tight end depth chart includes:
Kyle Nelson (long snapper, but got some tight end snaps during the preseason last year)
The 2015 NFL Draft is two weeks away, and the 49ers have a lot of question marks surrounding the tight end position. Vernon Davis is coming off his worst season as a pro, potentially due to injury issues. Vance McDonald had back problems that led to a shortened and ineffective sophomore campaign. And even Garrett Celek and Derek Carrier dealt with injuries.
Davis is entering the final year of his contract, and McDonald has not established himself as a viable long term option through his first two seasons in the league. Celek and Carrier are depth options right now, so it would not be a surprise to see the team add another tight end in the draft. They won't be releasing Davis or McDonald, and Carrier is probably not going anywhere. But if a talented player slips to them, maybe they make a play on day two or day three.
1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
2. Clive Walford, Miami
3. Jeff Heuerman, Ohio State
4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
5. Jesse James, Penn State
6. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame
7. Nick O'Leary, Florida State
8. Blake Bell, Oklahoma
9. Nick Boyle, Delaware
10. MyCole Pruitt, Southern Illinois
11. Wes Saxton, South Alabama
12. Jean Sifrin, Massachusetts
13. E.J. Bibbs, Iowa State
14. Rory Anderson, South Carolina
15. Gerald Christian, Louisville