Rookie tight end Kaden Smith has no shortage of confidence as he enters his first year in the NFL. He is taking part in the San Francisco 49ers' rookie minicamp, which kicked off on Friday afternoon.

Smith spoke with reporters before that first practice and expressed how excited he is to learn from George Kittle. Smith will compete for the No. 2 spot behind the third-year Pro Bowl tight end. Although, he has his sights set on more ambitious goals.

"I saw what [Kittle] did last year," Smith said. "I'm really excited to come and learn from him, eventually fight for his spot. I'm not really sure what my role is yet but I'm just going to go play football, enjoy it, and have fun, and keep learning."

Fight for his spot?

In case you forgot (you probably did not), Kittle set a new NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end this past year after an 88-catch, 1,377-yard, and five-touchdown campaign. Smith, a sixth-round draft pick out of Stanford, must have a whole lot of confidence entering his rookie offseason to think he can one day unseat one of the best tight ends in the league.

Maybe that's one of the reasons the 49ers liked him so much.

Kittle, by the way, congratulated Smith on being drafted.

"Right after I got drafted, he texted me," Smith said. "Just (said) good luck, and he's happy I'm on the team, and he's pumped up."

General manager John Lynch, who played college football at Stanford and whose son, Jake, was a freshman linebacker for the Cardinal in 2018, discussed the selection of Smith on Saturday.

"Yeah, I watch a lot of Stanford football for some reason," Lynch said, "and the one thing that's always struck me with Kaden, he makes big plays in big moments. A lot of contested catches. Someone is all over him, and he's got an ability.

"I think he's got a big catch radius, and the nice thing about Stanford football is that they're playing traditional football. They're in line. He's up on the line of scrimmage having to block people, and so I think he had done some of the things he'll do here, and we studied him hard as the process continued and felt comfortable in the sixth round to add Kaden, and are excited for it."

Smith feels Stanford's pro-style system gives him an advantage that many other NFL rookies do not have.

"One of the reasons I went to Stanford was it had an NFL offense with NFL lingo," Smith said, "and a lot of tight ends go into the league and they don't have a big problem learning the new plays and everything."