49ers adding Logan Thomas puts these 2 tight ends in a precarious spot

George Kittle is probably pretty happy the 49ers added a new partner in crime for him at the tight end position.

Two other current 49ers shouldn't be.

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders
Dallas Cowboys v Washington Commanders / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

The San Francisco 49ers threw in a late surprise before minicamp by signing former Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.

The Niners have tried to address this spot over multiple offseasons, be it by developing in-house solutions like Ross Dwelley, or signing outside free agents like Jordan Reed. Another example came earlier this offseason, when San Franciscosigned restricted free-agent Brock Wright to an offer sheet that the Detroit Lions would later match.

Thomas is now the latest to take up the mantle.

There's more than a few people likely to be happy with this development: quarterback Brock Purdy, who has yet another addition to his almost-Swiss Army knife-like set of weapons on offense, fellow tight end George Kittle, who may finally have some respite from being the best -- and at times only -- receiving tight end on the roster, and finally, head coach Kyle Shanahan, who is unlikely to complain at having yet another talented pass catcher to get the ball.

However, two 49ers that are less likely to be happy with this development are 2023 draft picks Cameron Latu and Brayden Willis.

Latu, a highly-touted third-round pick out of Alabama, possibly already had a tenuous hold on a roster spot (he didn't make the 53-man roster in my post-draft projection on this very site), given Shanahan's rather pointed comments about him following the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft.

""We're looking at all the tight ends. He hasn't been out here yet, we like guys to practice first.""

Kyle Shanahan on Cameron Latu, per 49ers

Latu has certainly struggled to make an impact, landing on injured reserve last August following a torn meniscus in the third preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Even prior to that, he wasn't exactly earning rave reviews, with multiple reports of drop issues during training camp.

While some of that could be explained by difficulties adjusting to the professional game, Shanahan's comments suggest a dissatisfaction with the options at the position, and possibly Latu in particular. As he was a third-round pick, you'd expect Latu to have a longer rope than most. But then again, the Niners haven't exactly been shy about cutting underperforming third-rounders in the past.

In Willis' case, his main roster experience likely helps him, as he appeared in seven games last year. Unfortunately, he did very little to distinguish himself, and while he's likely in play for a third tight end spot if one is utilised on the roster, given his work blocking and on special teams, this does reduce his roster chances.

Given that Thomas will probably slot immediately into the No. 2 tight end spot, it's likely now Willis and Latu will both enter a battle for a third spot on the roster. They'll be battling against free-agent signing Eric Saubert as well as undrafted rookie Mason Pline, although the latter seems more likely ticketed for the practice squad, given his inexperience at higher levels of football.

That's of course assuming a third spot for a tight end exists. The 49ers already have a logjam at other key positions, like wide receiver and cornerback, and may well decide that keeping one of the two thus-far unremarkable young players could be a waste of a roster spot that could be used elsewhere.

So, while most in the building will get a boost from Thomas' arrival, there's no doubt that it's placed the two youngest players at the position on notice.

Perhaps this will be the incentive they need to kick on and improve?

What do you think San Francisco will do this season at the tight end position?

Read more from Niner Noise