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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is 49ers’ Ross Dwelley becoming Shanahan’s secret weapon as second tight end?

Marc Adams
Aug 13, 2021 at 10:29 AM--

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been searching for a tight end to serve as a receiving complement to starter George Kittle. Last season, the 49ers signed Jordan Reed, in hopes he could stay healthy enough to be that threat. But he and Kittle were both in and out of the lineup, keeping the coach's plan waiting at least another season.

This season, the 49ers decided to give fourth-year player Ross Dwelley a shot to be that number two tight end. Last season, Dwelley played in all 16 games, hauling in 19 receptions for 245 yards, and one touchdown. So far this training camp, Dwelley seems to be impressing everyone. His coaches, his teammates, and the media. Everyday, I see someone write something glowing about Dwelley. Here are just a few recent comments about the tight end:

  • 49ers beat writer, Grant Cohn: "Dwelley had an outstanding camp. He looks noticeably bigger, particularly his lower body."
  • 49ers star linebacker Fred Warner: "He's legit one of our best football players."
  • Shanahan: "Ross is a very dependable guy who has as good of hands as anyone on our team."
  • Kittle: "He's been very aggressive with all of his route running. He's not second-guessing himself. He's just attacking, and that's what I love to see. He's ripping through edges. He's getting open in all of his routes. He's making all the hard catches, which he's always made all the hard catches. He has fantastic hands. He has a very good natural feel for where he needs to be in routes, in zones, and stuff like that. And he continually gets better in the run game. Like, he came in, I think, at 230, and I know that he's like 245-ish right now, and so he can hold his own in the run game. He can be a solo-wide, go actually block the edge. Ross is going to be an asset to our offense this year. He's shown that in camp with all the plays he's making. He's just going to continue to get better and better and better."
  • 49ers content creator, Jason Aponte: "Ross Dwelley's fine camp continues! He's been ballin out!"
  • 49ers beat writer, Jennifer Lee Chan: "Under the radar #49ers that have shown up at camp? TE Ross Dwelley - making some ridiculous catches."
  • 49ers beat writer, Jake Hutchinson: "Ross Dwelley's having a hell of a camp. He's made at least four absurd catches, including two today."

Dwelley has been a consistent target for the 49ers quarterbacks, who seem to have a lot of confidence in his ability to make plays. I've been critical of Dwelley the last couple of seasons. But by all accounts, it appears he may be ready to break out and be the threat at tight end to complement Kittle.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

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