No. 3: 49ers tight end Ross Dwelley
Just like Jeff Wilson, backup tight end Ross Dwelley had a small number of crucial impact plays for San Francisco when called upon.
In 2019, these were due to All-Pro tight end George Kittle missing a couple of games with both ribs and ankle injuries, immediately thrusting Dwelley into a featured and necessary role.
On the year, Dwelley amassed 15 grabs for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The numbers don’t tell everything, yet some of those catches and subsequent scores were massive in helping the 49ers overcome Kittle’s brief absence.
So why would Dwelley be in danger of losing his job?
It has to do with the Niners’ sixth-round addition of former Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner who, despite never having more than 11 catches in a single season at the collegiate level, earned a reputation for being one of college football’s best blockers at the position — an element Dwelley doesn’t necessarily possess.
This alone could force Kyle Shanahan’s hand into putting Woerner on the field more in blocking situations, thereby freeing up Kittle to stay as a pass-catching threat.
Don’t let the lowly receiving stats at Georgia fool you about Woerner, however. He could easily surpass Dwelley on the depth chart, particularly if the rookie winds up displaying some pass-catching prowess of his own.