No. 5 49ers player who shined vs. Vikings: Tanner Hudson
OK, so reserve tight end Tanner Hudson had one of the uglier drops in the game, missing out on what would have been an easy third-down catch-and-run conversion with no Vikings defender within 5 yards of him, and he was also flagged for offensive holding late in the fourth quarter.
However, those were easily the lone blips on Hudson’s no-no radar.
After that first-quarter gaffe, though, Hudson emerged as the go-to receiving target for quarterbacks Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy, finishing the night with a team-high five receptions for 43 yards, four of which came on key third-down situations.
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If there’s a way to offset the mistakes, Hudson’s performance on third downs helped do it.
San Francisco’s tight end depth behind George Kittle is awfully fluid, and it appears as if Hudson is slowly working his way beyond Kittle’s primary backup from the last three years, Ross Dwelley.
Kyle Shanahan has kept four tight ends on his 53-man roster before. But even if Shanahan opts to keep only three, leaving Hudson off the group might be a poor decision to make.
If anything, it sure looks as if the 49ers are favoring Hudson over Dwelley right now.