Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
In February, 2016, tight end Garrett Celek signed a 4-year extension and then proceeded to have a career year. Then-new coach Chip Kelly, who loved Celek’s brother Brent in Philadelphia, was eager to use him. And Celek responded, with more receptions and first downs, and as many touchdowns, as in his first four years combined.
Unfortunately, that still wasn’t very good. Celek’s 350 yards ranked 32nd in the NFL, and he fumbled twice on only 24 receptions. His five year career total (678 yards) would not have made the top ten for just last year. And while Vance McDonald is the NFL’s active leader in TE drop rate, Celek is well on this way to catching up.
Vance McDonald’s 15.8% drop rate is the worst among TEs with at least 75 catchable targets since entering the league in 2013. #49ers pic.twitter.com/iC6Bsr2zL9— David Neumann (@NeumannNFL) May 22, 2017
In addition, Garrett Celek had the worst drop rate among TEs in 2016. #49ers https://t.co/D9odcG1inD— Jeff Deeney (@PFF_Jeff) May 22, 2017
Experience: 5 accrued seasons
Weight: 252 lbs
Signed a four year contract for $10,000,000 in February of 2016, with a base salary of $1.55 million this year and a cap number of $2.575 million.
What to expect in 2017
While his average increased to 12.8 yards per reception last season, Celek only hauled in 29 of 50 targets, and the drops and fumbles don’t help. At 29, it’s hard to hope for a big improvement at this point. He’s best known for blocking, but the 49ers added blocking tight ends Logan Paulsen and George Kittle this spring, plus FB Kyle Jusczyzk who has a similar skill set.
Odds of making the roster
Factoring in UDFA rookie move TE Cole “Dirty” Hikutini, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Niners turned over their entire tight end squad in favor of their new (cheaper and mostly younger) acquisitions.
If not, Celek will be hard pressed to beat out Vance McDonald, who had more yards (391) and TDs (4) on fewer targets (45) last year — with no fumbles.