The 2016 NFL Draft process rolls along this month with players conducting workouts at school Pro Days. That will be followed by private workouts, which just about marks the end of the pre-draft process. With that in mind, we're back for another round of Mike Mayock position rankings. We went through them in February leading up to the NFL Combine.
Mayock posted his latest positional rankings back on March 8. Free agency got in the way, but with that slowed down, I thought I'd go back through each of his positions over the next week and a half. I suspect Mayock will be back with more rankings sometime in early April after Pro Days wrap up. We started with edge rushers, and moved on to defensive tackles, inside linebackers, interior offensive linemen, and running backs. Today, we look at tight ends.
The San Francisco 49ers signed tight end Garrett Celek to a four-year contract extension back in February, setting the depth chart up to include Celek, Vance McDonald, Blake Bell, Busta Anderson, and Je'Ron Hamm. That's not exactly a murderers' row of talent. There are intriguing options, but it's just a wee bit under the radar. The New England Patriots will head into the coming season with Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett as their top two tight ends. I realize it's not a particularly useful comparison, but I just felt like making it.
The 49ers have some talent in their tight end depth chart. Blake Bell showed some things thanks to various injuries. Vance McDonald showed some things with Blaine Gabbert, but at times couldn't hold onto a ball to save his life. Garrett Celek is a capable blocker who did some solid things before getting hurt. Busta Anderson was a "medical red-shirt" for the team last season.
The team has a lot of bodies, but is it enough to roll with this coming season? The 2016 NFL Draft does not feature a ton of talent, but there might be a sleeper or two. Hunter Henry is viewed by most as the top option. CBS Sports projects him as a second round pick, with a few day two options right behind him. Would any be worth an addition at this point? Could Chip Kelly actually turn the 49ers current tight ends into a more productive group?
|Rk||February 10||March 8|
|1||Hunter Henry||Hunter Henry|
|2||Austin Hooper||Austin Hooper|
|3||Jerrell Adams||Jerrell Adams|
|4||Nick Vannett||Nick Vannett|
|5||Henry Krieger Coble||Ben Braunecker|