49ers 2022 regular-season tight end depth predictions
Theoretically, San Francisco could keep four tight ends on its 53-man roster. Kyle Shanahan has done this before, and one could look at 2019 when now-retired tight end Garrett Celek was on the roster alongside George Kittle, Ross Dwelley and Levine Toilolo.
This doesn’t seem too likely, though, and having three seems like the most plausible option.
Kroft’s $25,000 in dead money, if cut, isn’t a deterrent. And him joining the fray midway into the 49ers’ offseason program doesn’t bode well for him. However, Charlie Woerner appears to be the one player Kroft could beat out for a roster spot.
If he does, expect the tight end depth for Week 1 to look something like this:
- George Kittle
- Ross Dwelley
- Tyler Kroft
That would mean Woerner, entering year three of his rookie contract, would be on the outs but could easily be relegated to the practice squad, considering few teams are going to aggressively pursue a waived blocking-only tight end on the wire before Week 1.
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And what of Jordan Matthews, the former wide receiver who turned into a tight end last season? He’s appeared in three games for the Niners over the last two years and seems to be in the same ilk as cornerback Dontae Johnson: someone San Francisco seemingly likes to have around but not active so much on game day.
Perhaps that trend will continue.
Kroft, Dwelley and Woerner will be the three to watch, though, as those two remaining spots behind Kittle will be the most fluid.