Each week leading up to the start of training camp, 49ers.com will assess roster groupings as we get closer to the season. In this installment, we will address the tight end position and the depth behind their All-Pro, Pro Bowl talent.
Pro Football Focus recently ranked the top 15 tight ends ahead of the 2023 season, with tight end George Kittle landing at No. 3 for his elite receiving skills combined with his blocking talent. This offseason, San Francisco looked to add support to the tight end position with draft pickups of Cameron Latu and Brayden Willis.
Before the start of training camp, Kittle and co-founders Travis Kelce and Greg Olsen brought tight ends from across the league to Nashville, Tennessee for the third-annual Tight End University three-day summit. Together, the NFL athletes learned from one another and refined their specialized skills to elevate the tight end position ahead of the 2023 season.
Tight End Breakdown
The 49ers re-signed Dwelley to a one-year deal in March. Since signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Dwelley has appeared in 72 games (17 starts) and registered 43 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns. He has also appeared in seven postseason contests.
Last season, Dwelley appeared in 12 games and finished with three receptions for 105 yards and one touchdown.
The 49ers re-signed Fumagalli to a one-year deal in May. Fumagalli was originally drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fifth round (156th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Throughout his five-year NFL career, the veteran tight end has had stints with the Broncos (2018-20), New England Patriots (2021) and 49ers (2022). He has appeared in 19 games (five starts) and registered 14 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Fumagalli first signed with the 49ers ahead of the 2022 season and spent some time on the team's practice squad.
As one of the team's biggest playmakers, Kittle capped off his sixth season in the NFL receiving second-team All-Pro honors, joining the Pro Football Writers of America 2022 All-NFC Team and earning his fourth Pro Bowl invite. In 2022, Kittle started 18 games, catching 70 of 97 targets for 929 yards and a career-high 11 touchdowns (including playoffs).
Pro Football Focus ranked Kittle in third place of their "elite" category of pro TEs. Kittle's 87.8 receiving grade ranks second-highest among all tight ends over the last two years, notching 30 missed tackles over that timespan.
Latu was selected in the third-round (101st overall) by the 49ers in this year's NFL Draft. He appeared in 51 games (26 starts) in five years (2018-22) at the University of Alabama and registered 56 receptions for 787 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In 2022, Latu started all 11 games he appeared in and recorded 30 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns.
Willis was the first of three seventh-round draft picks (247th overall) selected by the 49ers in this year's NFL Draft. He appeared in 58 games (25 starts) in five years (2018-22) at the University of Oklahoma and registered 75 receptions for 998 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In 2022, Willis started in all 13 games and set career highs with 39 receptions for 514 yards and seven touchdowns, earning Second-Team All-Big 12 honors.
Entering the fourth year of his career, Woerner's impact has been seen predominantly in the 49ers pass blocking game, earning a 68.6 PFF mark in that statistical category. In the 48 games Woerner has appeared in for San Francisco, he's recorded 88 yards on eight receptions.
In 2022, Woerner appeared in 17 regular season games and all three of the team's postseason games.