49ers grooming Charlie Woerner to take over for George Kittle?

Charlie Woerner #TE19 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Charlie Woerner #TE19 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Charlie Woerner, Georgia Bulldogs
Charlie Woerner #89 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

49ers want Charlie Woerner to replace George Kittle’s blocking

Like Charlie Woerner, George Kittle was touted as one of college football’s best blocking tight ends, as this Pro Football Focus 2017 scouting report showcases. Kittle had to be. After all, Iowa’s offense was based on the run (remember, C.J. Beathard was at quarterback).

What the scouts saw was the potential for Kittle to not just be a solid blocker at the NFL level, but more importantly, he had the potential to be a good route runner and pass-catching option after the catch.

So far, that’s come true. NFL records state as much.

The 49ers hope here would be to redistribute Kittle’s yardage impact to other skill positions, potentially to a rookie wide receiver like Brandon Aiyuk or even Jauan Jennings, maybe factoring in a second-year player like wide receiver Jalen Hurd, too.

But finding someone with the same blocking prowess as Kittle is what matters here. Fortunately, Woerner excels at this:

This in-draft breakdown by KNBR 680’s Jacob Hutchinson described the eventual fit Woerner made happen:

"This kid loves to block. He was a captain for Georgia and absolutely thrives on plowing through opponents in the run game. He’s got a little versatility to him, with some H-Back potential, but has very short arms. His production as a receiving tight end was almost nonexistent (34 total passes, 376 yards, 1 TD at Georgia), but his burst off the line provides cause for optimism that he could get himself open there. He does lack a little bit of wiggle, but he’s viewed as a seventh round or undrafted prospect, and his blocking upside might be worth it."

In a sense, the Niners are possibly looking at Woerner to pick up at blocking where Kittle could potentially leave off, should he leave, all the while hoping the team’s other receiving options could make up for the latter’s absence.

Any pass-catching abilities Woerner would display from that point onward would merely be a bonus.

dark. Next. 5 toughest quarterbacks 49ers will face in 2020

Yes, San Francisco would prefer not to face this dilemma. But it’s one John Lynch and Co. have to face considering their salary cap situation and the lucrative contract Kittle will receive in 2021.

Be it with the 49ers or somewhere else.