The loss left by TE Delanie Walker was a huge blow to the San Francisco 49ers organization. A player that excelled on special teams, kickoffs, and offense, Walker was a jack of all trades, earning him the nickname the “Swiss Army Knife.” Simply put, he could do it all. Now, the 49ers will have to find his replacement via the draft, which is easier said than done, if you ask me. However, the 49ers are left with limited options, but there are a few prospects worth eyeing. I have identified three tight-ends, the 49ers may be targeting in this year’s draft.
1. Zach Ertz (Stanford)- Here we have another Stanford tight-end rumored to be headed to the city by the bay. Last year, it was TE Coby Fleener (Colts), who the 49ers decided to pass up in favor WR A.J. Jenkins. This year it is Ertz. They both have a similar build and possess a similar skill set, however Ertz may have more upside as a receiver than his predecessor. He may not have the 4.4 speed that Walker possessed, but nonetheless a great receiving threat.
2. Gavin Escobar (San Diego State)- Hail, S-D-S-U! Call me bias, but Escobar is a true baller. This kid can play. He is not afraid to go across the middle, and makes nice adjustments while the ball is in the air. However, I am playing devils advocate here, and Escobar does have some glaring flaws. For one, Escobar does not always play with good leverage, and is easily tackled after initial contact.
3. Travis Kelce (Cincinnati)- This is my favorite of the three. He is tough, physical, and aggressive. He is a solid receiver with the build to plow through would be tacklers. He plays with passion and is always fired up. After reviewing his game-film, I believe he would be best suited to be a dual threat as a special teams ace, a dimension I do not believe Ertz or Escobar would bring.