One thing emerged in 2017 for the tight ends that will be around for the immediate future in 2018, and that is the presence of #CelekTime. Garrett Celek finally managed to catch passes and worked a tandem with rookie George Kittle. The 49ers were the beneficiaries of such an avatar. There was chatter that they may go after Rob Gronkowski in the offseason, but either Gronk was too expensive or the 49ers didn’t want to mess with the good thing they had with Kittle/Celek.
So we have mostly the same thing for 2018, only better. Kittle’s dealing with an injury but should be good to go by Week 1. Celek? Well if he doesn’t do what he did against the Indianapolis Colts dropping passes, #celektime will be relied upon by Jimmy G. With the loss of Jerick McKinnon, there’s more targets for the tight ends.
Sadly, Logan Paulsen is not with the 49ers, instead being replaced by Cole Wick. Wick was a practice squad player in 2017, staying on the squad while the team released/signed Paulsen, and Hikutini for the upteenth time. Don’t expect to see much of any of the third tight end, whoever it is. This is Celek/Kittle’s show.
2017 TE depth chart: George Kittle, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen
2018 TE depth chart: George Kittle, Garrett Celek, Cole Wick
This is an improvement, mostly for the experience Kittle brings. Kittle is poised to have a good season in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and now that the rookie rust is off, the sky’s the limit. Celek came into his own last year and hopefully can keep the momentum going this year. As for Wick? Well it sounds like he earned his spot on the roster with his practice squad play. If he’s an upgrade over Paulsen is yet to be determined. We’ll find out with how many times the 49ers release/sign him over the course of a season.
Are the 49ers better, worse or the same at tight end compared to the start of 2017?
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