NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that tight end Jordan Reed is retiring from the NFL. Reed spent this past season with the San Francisco 49ers, where he appeared in ten games. Reed went down in Week 3 with an injury after two straight games of six plus targets. In a blowout win versus the Jets in Week 2, Reed looked the closest to his former Pro Bowl self.
We didn’t see Reed activated again until Week 9, where he finished the rest of the season but only had one game where he had over 35 yards receiving.
Injuries were the story of Reed’s career, who at times looked like the best player on the field when he was in Washington.
The 49ers have George Kittle, Ross Dwelley, Charlie Woerner, and Daniel Helm under contract at tight end. Dwelley will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. We haven’t seen enough from Woerner or Helm to say the Niners shouldn’t add another tight end.
That brings us to the NFL Draft, which is now nine days away. San Francisco has routinely carried four tight ends on its regular-season roster. With nine picks in next week’s draft, adding a Day 3 tight end for the fourth time in five drafts under the Shanahan/Lynch regime seems likely.
Outside of Kittle, the 49ers don’t have anyone who can threaten the defense. Dwelley had a long of 36 and 25 the past two seasons, but his big plays are schemed open where Dwelley is running wide open down the field.
There are a few intriguing options on the third day of the draft. Kenny Yeboah, out of Ole Miss, comes to mind. The 6’3, 250-pound tight end out of Ole Miss has mismatch potential. Yeboah showed at Ole Miss that he could outrun linebackers both at the line of scrimmage and once the ball is in his hands.
Boston College’s Hunter Long feels like the 49ers “type,” based on who they’ve drafted in the past couple of seasons. Long is a better version of Woerner and Kaden Smith. He was targeted 91 times this past season, and most of his routes came on the type of out routes and crossers the Niners run. Plus, Long had a few targets in the red zone where he used his size to win.
Long is 6’5, 254 pounds, and ran a 4.71 40-yard dash. His shuttle times were below average, but Long’s broad jump and 10-yard split were elite. As one might assume from a Boston College tight end, Long is a great blocker and understands his assignments.