Before you get all uppity and go off thinking it’s redundant for the 49ers to grab another tight end when they already have a Pro Bowl one in George Kittle, consider this: NFL defenses hate offenses that boast two legitimate receiving tight ends.
Reemphasize the word: hate.
While Iowa’s Noah Fant is getting most of the publicity and will likely be the first tight end selected off the board this April, fellow tight end T.J. Hockenson isn’t far behind in the pecking order.
Hockenson, at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, caught 49 passes for 760 yards and six touchdowns last season. Like his Iowa predecessor, Kittle, Hockenson is excellent with the ball in his hands and more than capable of picking up chunks of yards after the catch. Also like Kittle, Hockenson is effective in both run blocking and pass protection.
This wouldn’t be the case of finding a raw, needing-some-refinement prospect later in the draft. No, Hockenson would double as yet another legitimate pass-catching weapon for San Francisco if selected.
When considering the 49ers’ own No. 2 tight end, Garrett Celek, was penalized more times in 2018 (six) than had receptions (five), you can see the point.
If Hockenson is the pick in Round 2, you should be happy.