The University of Oklahoma held its Pro Day on Thursday morning. That’s important, as the 49ers had a formal meeting with tight end Brayden Willis.
Willis comes from a spread offense, which, to me, is where the 49ers should be looking at when deciding on which tight end prospects to draft. At 6’3”, 241 pounds, won’t be confused for an in-line blocker.
That’s Charlie Woerner’s specialty, and that George Kittle guy is a decent blocker himself. San Francisco needs a player at tight end who can win their 1-on-1 matchups. Someone used to and comfortable playing in space. Additionally, a player that can catch.
The last line sounds simple, but I remember last year against the Falcons when Jimmy Garoppolo hit Woerner in the facemask on a throw that should have been an explosive play. Instead, it was a drop.
Willis was not listed in ESPN’s 7-round mock draft. On the NFL’s Mock Draft database, he’s projected to go undrafted, ranking 291st overall. But that doesn’t mean Willis can’t contribute.
Willis improved by 1.5 inches on his vertical jump during Oklahoma’s Pro Day. Unfortunately, he didn’t run a 40-yard dash because he tweaked his hamstring Wednesday.
The former Sooner was a basketball player as a high schooler, which gives you an idea of his athleticism. In 2022, Willis was second-team All Big 12 after finishing the season with 39 receptions for 514 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns.
At the NFL Combine, Willis spoke with Steph Sanchez and confirmed he formally met with the 49ers.
Oklahoma TE Brayden Willis tells me he met formally with the #49ers here at the Combine.— Steph Sanchez (@Steph49K) March 3, 2023
“It went great. I love them, they love me… There might be a relationship there to come but we’ll just have to see.” pic.twitter.com/vwJNq53rO1
Here’s a look at Willis’s college highlights: