The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with Garrett Celek on a contract extension on Tuesday, locking him up for four years. Alongside Celek, the 49ers have Vance McDonald signed through 2016, Blake Bell and Busta Anderson signed through 2018, and Je'Ron Hamm signed through 2016 (but an exclusive rights free agent following that).
Chip Kelly likes using tight ends fairly extensively, so we will see plenty of them. The question now is if the 49ers are going to go into the season with these four, or if we'll see other additions to the group. Poldarn broke down the 49ers tight end usage this past year in a great FanPost.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock conducted a conference call on Tuesday, and he got a question about the tight end position. He is not wildly impressed by the position, but he pointed to four guys he could see going in the first three rounds. Here are his comments on the tight ends. Will the 49ers add one via the draft? Will there be some depth added? Or will the 49ers head into the season mostly with what they currently have?
Hunter Henry from Arkansas is kind of a borderline late one to mid two. He will block, you can line him up in line, but he's also a very accomplished receiver when he's in line or detached. Austin Hooper from Stanford really I think a very sophisticated route runner, very much like a Zach Ertz who went in the second round, or a Coby Fleener from Stanford. So I think he's a second-round pick.
The guy I've been impressed with is Jerrell Adams from South Carolina, not known as well. I liked him on tape. He's a long athletic kid, he catches the football, and even though he's not a sophisticated blocker, he's a willing blocker. After that Nick Vannett from Ohio State who is probably more of the old-school, in-line Y and a better receiver than people think.
And those I think are the top four, and I think they're going to go in the first three rounds, and then after that it's kind of pick your flavor. You're looking for a big guy that can block, are you looking for a Tyler Higby from Western Kentucky, more of a pass receiver, or a Thomas Duarte from UCLA who is more like a wide receiver; is he a wideout? Is he a tight end? But that's a long way of saying it's a typical tight end class, and you've kind of got to go and take a specific look at what you need and draft that type of player.