The San Francisco 49ers could use some tight end depth, and it sounds like they have some interest close to home. The team is showing “a lot of interest” in Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz, according to NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline.
Schultz sounds like a low ceiling, high floor option. Pauline reported the general thought is that Schultz could step in and play all three downs right away. Pauline described him as “not spectacular and doesn’t have the upside some of the other tight ends possess, but he could be a solid starter for years to come.”
NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein currently projects Schultz as a third round pick. Zierlein describes him as, “a Y-tight end with the ability as a run blocker to help bolster a team’s rushing attack very quickly.” He likes Schultz’s pass-catching ability underneath, and says the tight end players with good technique and play strength.
The 49ers currently have George Kittle and Garrett Celek competing for the bulk of the tight end snaps. After that, it’s up in the air. Logan Paulsen was the third tight end for much of last season, but departed as a free agent. Cole Hikutini could be in for a big opportunity this fall, but he might not be sufficiently suited for the blocking side of things. Maybe the 49ers look to the draft to find another blocking option who could eventually replace Garrett Celek.