Round 6, Pick No. 204 Overall (from Bears): 49ers select tight end John Bates, Boise State
With Jordan Reed retiring after his one-year stint in San Francisco, the likelihood of the 49ers adding yet another tight end this offseason increased dramatically.
The Niners tried to find some adequate depth behind the All-Pro, George Kittle, last season by adding Reed and former Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner. But with Reed now gone and Woerner a mere run-blocker at most, there’s going to be a push for John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan to try and find another potential gem at the position late in the draft.
Boise State tight end John Bates checks a lot of boxes in this regard. At 6-foot-6 and 256 pounds, he has the mismatch size and ran a respectable 4.80 40-yard time during his pro day — not terrible at all for a player of his build.
Bates never had more than 22 catches in a single season with the Broncos, which was in 2019, and he lacks experience as a route-runner and pass-catching option.
That said, he’s already ahead of Woerner in this regard and can hold his own with blocking, too, both as an in-line option and out in space.
If San Francisco is willing to close the door on Woener while trying to develop Bates, this move wouldn’t be bad at all in the middle of Round 6.