No. 1: 49ers Tight End Charlie Woerner
One of the notable points about the Niners’ sixth-round NFL Draft addition of Georgia tight end Charlier Woerner was his ability to be a great blocker, yet he wasn’t anything of a receiving threat at the college level.
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His best statistical season, in this regard, came in 2018 when he recorded a mere 11 receptions for 148 yards. Over his four-year collegiate career, Woerner amassed only 34 catches for 376 yards and a touchdown.
Hardly the stats one would like for a No. 2 tight end to pair with George Kittle.
But it’s worth pointing out Kittle wasn’t exactly a prolific collegiate receiver either, amassing just 22 receptions for 314 yards and four touchdowns his senior season at Iowa. This certainly propelled him towards being a fifth-round pick, although the rest has become NFL history.
There’s a good chance Kyle Shanahan is looking to make the same out of Woerner, developing his own pass-catching skills while letting Woerner continue his already-established blocking abilities.
Doing so would open up so many different elements for the 49ers offense, taking pressure off Kittle and allowing Shanahan to have two legitimate pass-catching options at the position.
Few defenses are adequately equipped to handle two bona fide receiving tight ends, and it’s not hard to see why the Niners would want to develop Woerner into this kind of complementary role, making him a key player to observe between now and Week 1.