49ers depth chart: Predicting how George Kittle, tight ends pan out

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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Ross Dwelley, 49ers
Tight end Ross Dwelley #82 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /

49ers Tight Ends: Weak Bubble

San Francisco signing Jordan Reed isn’t exactly great news for some of the depth players the Niners have at tight end.

In short, the 49ers are trying to upgrade a position that needed some help last year. Reed, if healthy, provides a lot of extra thump at a spot where a would-be George Kittle injury could prove to be disastrous.

Yet it doesn’t help these tight ends buried deeper on the depth chart as a result.

Ross Dwelley

The one player figuring to lose the most is Ross Dwelley, who admirably filled in for Kittle as a starter for two games last year, including a clutch third-down conversion catch on Oct. 31 against the Arizona Cardinals to go along with two key touchdowns during what turned out to be a surprisingly impressive career-best year from the undrafted Dwelley.

That said, Dwelley doesn’t offer up much by the way of blocking or yards after the catch — areas in which Reed has much more prowess.

Daniel Helm

Daniel Helm, an undrafted free-agent addition of the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019, joined the Niners when he was claimed in August of that year.

San Francisco promoted Helm to the 53-man roster in December of 2019, yet he was inactive for all three games.

Barring a crazy run in training camp, Helm doesn’t figure to make the cut by Week 1.

Chase Harrell

Like Charlie Woerner, Chase Harrell wasn’t known for being an elite-level pass-catching threat at either Arkansas or, previously, Kansas where he served as a wide receiver before transferring.

But Harrell blew away scouts with a 4.53 40-yard time during his pro day, which is exceptional for a tight end at 6-foot-4 and 249 pounds. His broad jump, something the Niners pay close attention to, ranged in at 10-foot-7, too, which makes Harrell one of those workout wonders worth taking a flier on after the NFL Draft.

The 49ers did, and they’re hoping they at least have a developmental candidate to stash for coming seasons.