49ers depth chart: 5 dark-horse players who can steal a roster spot

Kelvin Taylor #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Kelvin Taylor #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Erik Swoope, Indianapolis Colts
Erik Swoope #86 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

49ers Depth Chart No. 2: Tight End Erik Swoope

Tight end depth has been one of the other notable storylines surrounding Niners training camp this offseason.

Behind the All-Pro, George Kittle, there’s quite an open-ended battle for who rounds out this position. Third-year pro Ross Dwelley has been banged up with a foot injury, though, and that could shake things up a bit. Veteran Jordan Reed, who flashed early after missing a good chunk of camp, has a lengthy injury history, too.

Even if both Dwelley and Reed make the roster, however, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Kyle Shanahan want to add at least another tight end to the roster, potentially a floater between the practice squad and 53-man group. The undrafted rookie, Chase Harrell, is a bit too unrefined to use a roster spot right away and is likely pegged as a practice squad candidate at best. So that would leave a battle between the 49ers’ sixth-round draft choice, Georgia’s Charlie Woerner, and the recently signed Erik Swoope, who made a small dent with the Indianapolis Colts, namely back in 2016 when he registered 297 yards on 15 catches.

Woerner is an exceptional blocker, especially for a rookie, although his route-running abilities in camp have been pretty paltry. No. 3 tight ends have to block, but they also should flash a little bit of a receiving threat.

Should Shanahan feel a player like Woerner is better suited on the 49ers depth chart, Swoope likely gets the ax.

But if Woerner requires a year on the practice squad to hone his receiving skills, Swoope could swoop in and land that final tight end spot.