The San Francisco 49ers scored big time with fifth round pick George Kittle. The Iowa tight end finished second on the team in receptions and receiving yards, and became a regular target of Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers got great work from tight end Garrett Celek as well, but the position remains one where the 49ers could use another regular playmaker.
One name that could pop up is South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert (pronounced GOD-ert). Todd McShay ranked the FCS prospect as his top tight end, while Daniel Jeremiah ranked him behind South Carolina’s Hayden Hurst. Jeremiah had this to say about Goedert:
Goedert has ideal size, ball skills and toughness for the position. At South Dakota State, he lined up in-line, flexed in the slot or split out wide. In the passing game, he builds speed as a route runner and has subtle quickness at the top of his routes. He understands how to keep defenders on his back and has strong reliable hands. He lacks big-time burst after the catch but he runs hard and is tough to bring down. In the run game, he effectively shields defenders over his nose and can generate some movement on down blocks. Goedert isn’t an electric playmaker, but he’s dependable in every facet of the position.
Goedert is in Mobile at the Senior Bowl, and he said he has already met with scouts from all 32 teams. He has had some formal interviews, but did not clarify with whom other than the New Orleans Saints. He measured in at 6’4 and a half, 260 pounds, and told the media he was recruited out of high school more for basketball than football.
It’s no surprise he said he was comfortable playing all over the field. During college, he lined up at X, Z, slot, and in the backfield, as well as the traditional inline tight end role. With offenses continuing to evolve, this will certainly help move him up some draft boards. He’ll want a strong showing at the Senior Bowl against higher level competition, but he will be on the radar for plenty of teams.
The 49ers pick at No. 9 or No. 10, and then don’t pick again until No. 59. They have the Saints second round pick, but lost their own in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade. A trade down from No. 9/10 would add a late first or second round pick, but otherwise, the 49ers will be waiting a bit after that first round pick. Tight end is not as big a need as other positions, but Goedert strikes me as the kind of multi-dimensional playmaker that would have more value than just your traditional tight end.