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Which free agent tight ends should the 49ers consider?

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Vance McDonald isn't the answer. Garrett Celek probably isn't the answer.

Fooch always has a dozen different plans to cover free agents and I'm sure we'll revisit this topic dozens of times, but for now I want to talk about the San Francisco 49ers and the tight end position. The 49ers have a bunch of young tight ends and Garrett Celek after parting ways with Vernon Davis this past season and I tend to think the team will try and find an option on the free agent market as opposed to in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Blake Bell and Busta Anderson are both entering their second year in the NFL and both are still very raw. Drafting a tight end, especially early on in the draft, really wouldn't make sense. Determining where the ceiling is for both Bell and Anderson is tough, but I don't think either Vance McDonald or Celek provide much of a veteran presence ahead of them.

McDonald showed flashes of strong play as the regular season neared its end but his drops have been so egregious since the 49ers drafted him that I honestly don't expect him to pan out. I'm not saying it's guaranteed they will release him this offseason but I'm just not sure what his future is with the 49ers.

Celek is an interesting player, and we had a post about the type of contract he's likely to receive when he hits the open market next month. I imagine Celek would like to remain with the 49ers, but he also hasn't really shown the potential to be a No. 1 tight end, especially in an offense that relies on one.

Enter free agency. Below, I've listed all of the free agent tight ends, absent restricted and exclusive rights free agents.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Jermaine Gresham, Arizona Cardinals
Vernon Davis, Denver Broncos
Craig Stevens, Tennessee Titans
Logan Paulsen, Washington
Benjamin Watson, New Orleans Saints
Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts
Rhett Ellison, Minnesota Vikings
Clay Harbor, Jacksonville Jaguars
Michael Hoomanawanui, New Orleans Saints
Ladarius Green, San Diego Chargers
Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers
James Hanna, Dallas Cowboys
Daniel Fells, New York Giants
Zach Miller, Chicago Bears
Dorin Dickerson, Tennessee Titans
Kellen Davis, New York Jets
Josh Hill, New Orleans Saints
John Phillips, San Diego Chargers
Tony Moeaki, Atlanta Falcons
Allen Reisner, Baltimore Ravens
Robert Housler, Chicago Bears
Anthony McCoy, Seattle Seahawks
Richard Gordon, Baltimore Ravens
Chase Coffman, Seattle Seahawks
Bear Pascoe, Detroit Lions
Alex Smith, Washington

The two names that are interesting to me are Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, both of the Indianapolis Colts. Both tight ends have shown flashes of high level play, though Fleener might be a safer bet at this point. Allen started out looking better than Fleener, but last season the latter caught 54 passes for 491 yards three touchdowns. Allen had just 109 yards and a touchdown.

Given what the Colts have been looking for out of the position, it's safe to say that they are disappointed with the selections of Allen and Fleener. But both are young and both could succeed in the right offense and given the 49ers' cap space, I'd want either of them.

Another interesting player is Ladarius Green, though I'm not certain he'll ever break out. Whatever the case, those are the names I think could be good to pick up -- what say the rest of you?