San Francisco 49ers: 5 Players Who Should be Cut by Week 1

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Jeff Nixon 49ers tight ends Vance McDonald
Jeff Nixon is the new coach for Vance McDonald, 49ers tight ends. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1, TE Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald has just got to go. He won’t be cut, but he definitely should be. A tight end out of Rice, McDonald has yet to do anything noteworthy in his NFL career, except drop wide-open passes.

In 2013, McDonald was drafted by the 49ers in the second round to replace now All-Pro Delanie Walker. Walker was a key part of the 49ers 2012 Super Bowl run, and the 49ers knew they needed a replacement.

Unfortunately, Walker signed a four-year $17.5 million contract, with $8.6 million in guarantees in the 2013 offseason, and became a Tennessee Titan. Otherwise, the 49ers wouldn’t have needed to draft such a bust.

In three years, McDonald has caught just 40 passes on 73 targets. Admittedly, he caught 30 of 46 targets in 2015, so he is arrow-up right now, but he drops too many open passes.

In 2013, McDonald may have cost the 49ers home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs and a chance to play in the Super Bowl for a second straight year. He dropped a crucial pass, that would have set up a field goal attempt, late against the Carolina Panthers in Week 10.

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In 2014, it was much of the same. Without Vernon Davis for most of the year, McDonald failed to make his presence felt.

Even though 2015 was solid (30 catches for 326 yards and three TDs) new head coach Chip Kelly likes TEs who can flex and catch. While McDonald has great strength, speed and route-running ability, he simply has hands of stone.

However, if McDonald starts catching better, he’ll take Celek’s job and replace him as a future Pro Bowl player.

Next: San Francisco 49ers: 5 Biggest Weaknesses Entering 2016

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