Towering Target Bolstering Needed Depth, Signs Back With 49ers

George Kittle Ross Dwelley

Getty George Kittle and Ross Dwelley celebrating a 49ers touchdown on October 3, 2021.

The San Francisco 49ers have addressed some depth concerns at tight end on Monday, March 28.

And the signing is one of their own from the 2021 roster — plus a towering option in both the pass and run game who will have an extended stay in the Bay Area.

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Per the team website, the 49ers announced that Ross Dwelley is back on board on a one-year deal.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Dwelley now becomes the 12th free agent from the 49ers’ 2022 free agency class to sign a one-year deal.

Offensively, Dwelley joins running backs JaMycal Hasty and Jeff Wilson as members of that side of the football who agreed to stay on board for another year.


Presence of ‘Ross Da Boss’ on the 49ers

The re-addition of Dwelley can help keep this wrinkle in the 49ers‘ playbook: This exotic trips formation that involved him as one of the tight end options.

Dwelley may not have the long list of career starts as compared to his more heralded teammate George Kittle, but he’s started in 17 career games over the course of his four seasons per Pro Football Reference.

Dwelley first arrived to the 49ers as an undrafted free agent out of Football Championship Subdivision program the University of San Diego in 2018. Dwelley became the school’s all-time leader among tight ends with 197 receptions, 2,305 yards and 26 touchdowns per the school’s website.

Lance Zierlein of nfl.com called Dwelley a “tight end with decent route burst who displays the ability to make the easy and difficult catch” in his prospect evaluation of him. However, Zierlein pointed out that Dwelley’s flaw was run blocking.

“Dwelley is a poor run blocker who lacks the strength to handle the day-to-day work required from a combination tight end so he will have to ply his trade as pass-catcher,” Zierlein wrote. He concluded how Dwelley’s road to a roster “could be bumpy.”

The former Torero would go on to log two starts during the 2018 season. Then from 2019 to 2020, Dwelley combined for 15 total starts and went on to combine for 34 catches, 336 yards and scored three touchdowns — as he sometimes had to help fill in for Kittle when he was banged up.

Dwelley is likely best known for crossing the goal line twice against the Arizona Cardinals on November 17, 2019, sneaking behind the Cardinals’ defense in the red zone.

Last season, Dwelley started just two games and went on to catch 4 passes for 51 yards and the touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks.


Could 49ers No Longer Need to Draft a TE?

As mentioned in this Heavy on 49ers story, there’s one draft prospect in April’s NFL Draft who told Heavy that he would love the opportunity to play for Kittle and the 49ers: Greg Dulcich out of UCLA.

Dulcich, however, has since climbed up the boards following strong combine and Pro Day performances with Chad Reuter of nfl.com placing him at No. 46 to the Minnesota Vikings in his Friday, March 25 mock draft. This means that the Bruin is expected to be taken before the 49ers make their first selection at No. 61.

But via Matt Barrows of The Athletic, Dwelley is now one of five tight ends for 2022 for S.F.

Yet, Barrows’ colleague David Lombardi pointed out the 49ers may end up carrying just three for the time they need to trim the roster down to 53.

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