49ers Predicted to Shake Up TE Room by Adding ‘Physical’ Prospect

The San Francisco 49ers may have one of the NFL’s most talented rosters, but there are always places to improve and reload. After the departure of TE Charlie Woerner, San Francisco needs a new TE to add to the mix.

Former TCU tight end Jared Wiley is being projected to join the San Francisco 49ers

George Kittle is still at his best (although he did just have surgery, more on that below,) so any new name isn’t competing with the 49ers’ No. 1 guy. However, Woerner had an important role as a blocker and occasional pass-catcher.

Regarding a possible replacement, NFL.com’s Chad Reuters is predicting the 49ers to draft TCU prospect Jared Wiley in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL draft.

Wiley isn’t a household name, but he did earn a little bit of national recognition during the Horned Frogs’ run to the 2023 CFP National Championship. Drafting Wiley would be similar to how Woerner joined the 49ers, as he was a member of a talented Georgia team but wasn’t a focal point.

It would be a serious stretch to call Wiley a potential successor to Kittle, but his final year with TCU and his athletic traits could make Wiley a more viable offensive weapon than someone like Woerner.

Breaking Down Jared Wiley

Wiley was born in Texas and played his entire college career in Texas, albeit he started with the Longhorns before switching to the Horned Frogs. He arrived with TCU the offseason before their CFP run and emerged as a prominent redzone threat.

Sports Reference states that Wiley caught 24 receptions for 245 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2022. Despite TCU losing star QB Max Duggan to the NFL draft, Wiley actually doubled those numbers in 2023.

On 47 receptions, Wiley totaled 520 yards and 8 touchdowns. The stats aren’t astronomical, but there is clearly a talented player in Wiley’s 6’7″ frame.

Speaking of his size, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein describes Wiley as “physical” and as a “hands-catcher” which is a huge plus.

“Tall, long-armed tight end who flashes the potential to line up in-line or as a move tight end. Wiley would benefit from better strength in his lower half to help sustain blocks, but his technique is generally good… Wiley’s catch talent and ability to fight through contact are big check marks in his favor,” Zierlein wrote.

49ers TE George Kittle Undergoes Surgery

While names like Wiley emerge as potential TE additions, the 49ers will be monitoring the health of Kittle the next month or two. According to NBC Sports reporter Matt Maiocco, San Francisco GM John Lynch confirmed that Kittle and corner Charvarius Ward underwent core muscle surgery.

“George Kittle and Charvarius Ward both had core muscle surgery this offseason and will be back, fully cleared, for training camp, #49ers GM John Lynch said,” Maiocco wrote on X on March 25.

Kittle had one of his best seasons yet in 2023, crossing the 1000-yard mark as a receiver for the third time in his career and the first time since 2019. His 15.7 yards per reception is the highest single-season average of his career.

Considering that Kittle is now in his 30s, being able to squeeze surgeries or other health-related actions like this into the offseason is more valuable than ever.

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