Exclusive: ‘Vertical Talent’ TE Would Love to Play for Kittle & 49ers

George Kittle

Getty George Kittle during the 2022 Pro Bowl played on Sunday, February 6.

Tight end isn’t exactly a need for the San Francisco 49ers. After all, that position is in good hands with an All-Pro named George Kittle.

However, there is the depth concern moving into the 2022 season.

Reserve tight end Ross Dwelley is still considered an available free agent on the 49ers. Tanner Hudson and Charlie Woerner are the only other TE options outside of Kittle. Hudson is on a reserves/future deal worth up to one year for $895,000 per Spotrac. Woerner is on a lengthier four-year deal for $3,476,028 that allows him to become an unrestricted free agent in 2024.

If the 49ers are seeking to add depth, there’s one tight end lauded as a “vertical talent” and projected to “eventually become an average starter” who told Heavy he would love to suit up for the 49ers.

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Tight End has Similar Frame to Kittle

Greg Dulcich of UCLA is the tight end who is open to the idea of staying in California for his next football chapter.

Dulcich has similar height to Kittle (6-foot-4) and is near identical in weight (Dulcich was measured at 243-pounds at the NFL Scouting Combine. Kittle is 250). The standout from the Bruins has been described as a “vertical, long-legged” threat who is “faster than he looks” per nfl.com scout Lance Zierlein.

Dulcich averaged 17.6 yards per catch for his career — a rare number for collegiate tight ends and for that position in general. Heavy caught up with Dulcich at UCLA’s Pro Day held on Tuesday, March 15 and asked if the 49ers would be a fit for him.

“Yeah, I would love to (be in S.F). It would be awesome to play for them,” Dulcich said.

One reason for his 49er intrigue is outside of Kittle: The Bruins and 49ers have run similar pro style zone read offensive schemes.

“It’s cool to see kind of the carry over of the stuff that we run,” Dulcich said. “We would watch film even here, like yeah, this play, the 49ers run this play, let’s put it in. And then having a couple meetings the other day, like break this play down for us, and we run something pretty similar.”

Of course, the opportunity to play with a decorated Pro Bowler like Kittle is considered a young tight end’s dream.

“That’s the cream of the crop right there,” Dulcich said of Kittle.

Dulcich Shares What Scouts & Teams Have Told Him

Dulcich is heading into the draft in a tight end class that isn’t considered to be the most eye-catching for this draft period.

Bleacher Report plugs him as the third best tight end available, which usually signals early to mid third rounder. But B/R called him a prospect who was “moving up” in the boards following a strong combine showing — which means he can go as high as the late second round.

Dulcich had several meetings with scouts and tight end coaches who became enamored with him.

Plays like this versus a traditionally-loaded LSU team this past season point to why he’s been plastered on draft boards:

To reiterate: With Kittle in place and two other guys under contract, the 49ers appear to have a need for depth at tight end. With two picks (including a compensatory pick) in the third round, Dulcich could be considered an option should he fall that far.

Dulcich revealed the kind of conversations he’s had with NFL representatives.

“A lot of it is pretty similar: ‘You can stretch the field vertical and do a lot of great stuff in the run and pass game, you do a great job of kind of sealing guys.’ But there’s room to improve as a pass catcher, a route runner and in the run game as well so there’s a few things that I’m going to be working on moving forward,” Dulcich said.

While Dulcich is climbing the boards and has the look of a strong depth option for the 49ers, he’s not looking at mocks and wants to let things play out when the draft arrives.

“You don’t want to look at mock drafts or anything or where people are projecting you because they don’t know. At the end of the day, some of the teams don’t even know really. It’s up until draft day, anything can happen, so I’m just excited to go play football,” Dulcich said.

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