Louisville tight end Cole Hikutini was disappointed he didn’t get drafted by a team but it was only 10 minutes after the draft concluded when the San Francisco 49ers officially asked him to make the move out to California. Hikutini had a visit with the team and met the coaches before the draft which helped him make his choice after being pursued by several teams. Teams that were interested in the tight end included the Saints, Lions, Patriots and Texans.
Along with telling Hikutini to stay near his phone during draft day, 49ers coaches spoke to him about the depth chart and how they would use him to entice the Cardinal tight end to consider the west coast. He also reported that the 49ers were the “most aggressive” of the teams and the explosiveness of Kyle Shanahan’s offense played a factor.
Hikutini may have slid in the draft after running a 4.85 40 yard dash at Louisville’s pro day. He injured his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in the Citrus Bowl and said he’s run faster but wanted to compete even though he probably came back a little early. He also reports that he’s a full go now at rookie minicamp.
When asked why the 49ers might have been so interested in him, he explained his ability to stretch the field and get open as well as his route running and creating separation were qualities he brings with him to a team.
Hikutini is not just familiar with California after playing at Sacramento State and San Francisco City College, but he is familiar with 49ers defense lineman Arik Armstead who was his teammate in high school.
With the depth chart being an attractive element to Hikutini, George Kittle being drafted and Vance McDonald on the trading block, it appears the tight end spot is definitely being overhauled.