The 49ers are bringing back Ross Dwelley on a one-year deal, meaning they probably won’t add another tight end via the upcoming NFL Draft.
Never say never, but it certainly doesn’t look as if the San Francisco 49ers will consider targeting a tight end in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft.
Dwelley, a former undrafted free agent out of San Diego, saw his use decline dramatically in 2021 a year after he admirably filled in for All-Pro tight end George Kittle because of injuries, Dwelley amassing a mere four catches for 51 yards and and a touchdown after having a career-best 19 receptions for 245 yards and a touchdown a season before.
With 2020 rookie tight end Charlie Woerner actually ended up seeing more offensive snaps in 2021 than Dwelley, although neither was a prominent figure in head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Yet with Shanahan seemingly searching for a high-quality No. 2 tight end to pair with Kittle over the years, the last notable transaction being now-retired tight end Jordan Reed in 2020, one thought Dwelley’s time with San Francisco coming to a close with him hitting free agency this offseason.
Not so much now, and it likely impacts the 49ers’ actions in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, too.
Don’t expect 49ers to go after a tight end in 2022 NFL Draft with Ross Dwelley back
The Niners don’t have too many needs in the upcoming draft, but the ones they do have are significant.
Reinforcements for the offensive line are needed, San Francisco should still work on its secondary, and there’s a surefire need for pass-rushing depth, too.
Adding a complementary tight end to pair with Kittle and upgrade over Dwelley seems like a luxury target the 49ers can’t exactly afford, even though they have six selections spread out on day three of the NFL Draft.
This year’s draft class doesn’t have a clear-cut No. 1 stud at the position, like the 20201 class with now-Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts. But there are still plenty of good options, and they’re spread out all the way deep into day three.
Currently, the Niners now have Kittle, Dwelley, Woerner, Tanner Hudson and Jordan Matthews.
Unless San Francisco wants to spark more competition between now and Week 1, that’ll likely be the group Shanahan entrusts for the position for the rest of summer.