49ers roster: 3 most overhyped rookies entering training camp

Jauan Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jauan Jennings #15 of the Tennessee Volunteers (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Charlie Woerner, Georgia Bulldogs
Charlie Woerner #89 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

No. 3: 49ers Tight End Charlie Woerner

There’s one major element to rookie tight end Charlie Woerner‘s game not needing to be overhyped: his blocking abilities.

Woerner was one of college football’s best blocking tight ends last year, and it’s safe to conclude that trait was the reason he was selected in the NFL Draft in the first place, particularly in Round 5 by San Francisco.

Because he wasn’t drafted for his pass-catching accolades:

Charlie Woerner Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2016 Georgia SEC FR TE 5 5 50 10.0 0 0 0 0 5 50 10.0 0
*2017 Georgia SEC SO TE 6 9 100 11.1 0 0 0 0 9 100 11.1 0
*2018 Georgia SEC JR TE 9 11 148 13.5 0 0 0 0 11 148 13.5 0
*2019 Georgia SEC SR TE 7 9 78 8.7 1 0 0 0 9 78 8.7 1
Career Georgia 34 376 11.1 1 0 0 0 34 376 11.1 1

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 7/20/2020.

The overhype largely stems from another 49ers player who wasn’t much of a college receiving threat, tight end George Kittle. And like Woerner’s time at Georgia, Kittle stemmed from a run-first offense.

So, naturally, it’s a trendy thought to think Woerner will be on the same trajectory, right? All head coach Kyle Shanahan needs to do is hone an offense to feature Woerner alongside Kittle in a two-tight end package where both are legitimate threats.

Not so fast.

This wasn’t unlike a similar approach the Niners tried last year with their sixth-round pick, now-New York Giants tight end Kaden Smith, who was even more rounded as a college pass catcher than Woerner. Smith didn’t make the final 53-man roster despite some notable hype of his own.

Hopefully, Woerner isn’t on the same trajectory as Smith. But it’s foolish to think he’s on a similar path as Kittle.