placeholder image

Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

49ers make Alabama TE Cameron Latu a 3rd-round draft pick

Apr 28, 2023 at 8:11 PM

Videos are auto-populated by an affiliate. This site has no control over the videos that appear above.
The San Francisco 49ers selected Alabama tight end Cameron Latu with the 38th pick (No. 101 overall) in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Latu was among several tight ends who had a pre-draft visit with the Niners in Santa Clara.

Latu registered 30 receptions for 377 yards and four touchdowns through 11 game appearances as a senior in 2022, per Sports Reference. He caught 56 passes for 787 yards with 12 touchdowns through his five collegiate seasons.

RELATED 49ers 2023 Pre-Draft Tracker: Visits, Meetings, Workouts, Picks

San Francisco has long sought another tight end to pair with its tough but sometimes banged-up tight end, George Kittle. The 6-4, 242-pound Latu provides the 49ers with a player about the same size as their All-Pro star tight end.

"High-hipped pass-catching tight end with run blocking fortitude to mold," Lance Zierlein wrote within the player's scouting report. "Latu's lean legs and angular frame aren't made for drive blocking or neutralizing bigger players, but he does a nice job of sustaining move blocks in space. He changes route speed to open throwing windows over the first two levels. There are some issues with focus drops at times, but he plucks throws with good hand extension when possible. Latu could have roster appeal as an F tight end with an average ceiling."

Latu is from Salt Lake City, UT. He earned a pre-draft grade of 6.1 from, which equates to a "good backup with potential to become a starter," per the site's 8-point grading scale. projected Latu to be a fifth-round draft pick.

Keith Sanchez of The Draft Network wrote the following about Latu within his scouting report:

Cameron Latu is a redshirt senior tight end prospect who originally enrolled at the University of Alabama as a defensive end. Latu made the transition to the tight end position after his first season and has been a player who has consistently risen up the depth chart over the years, ultimately becoming the starting tight end for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Over the past two seasons, Latu has become a reliable receiving target and has worked his way up the progression order as a reliable, consistent player. Latu has ideal size for a traditional in-line tight end, but Alabama used him in multiple alignments—both in the slot and outside as a receiver.

Latu's best traits as a player are his versatility to be able to do it all and his ability to be very knowledgeable of his role and assignment on any given play. On run plays when Latu is aligned in the traditional tight end position, he does a good job giving effort to block and places effective blocks. In the passing game, Latu shows that he is a high-IQ football player. When facing zone coverages, Latu does a good job of finding the holes in a defense and making himself available for the quarterback. Latu fits the mold of the traditional "security blanket" over the middle of the field for the quarterback and his knowledge of the game helps him be on the same page as the passer.

Latu's deficiencies as a player are centered around his speed and acceleration. In the new modern era of football where tight ends are dynamic vertical threats, Latu appears to fall short of that standard athletically. Latu's best skill set is working the middle of the field on short-to-intermediate routes and he appears to lack the ability to stretch the field vertically. Latu's lack of speed and acceleration also affects his ability to separate from defenders in man-to-man coverage. It shows in that Latu can get separation on breaks and cuts but he lacks the burst and acceleration to remain separated from defenders throughout the route and defenders are able to get in phase with him

Overall, Latu's versatility is attributed to his high IQ and knowledge of the game, but his role on the next level may be limited due to speed concerns. Latu projects best to a NFL system that utilizes two tight ends and he can be the complementary piece to a tight end who profiles as more of a vertical threat.


Height: 6' 4 3/8"
Weight: 242 lbs.
Arm length: 32 3/8 inches
Hand length: 9 1/2 inches

College Statistics
Year School Class G Rec Yds Avg TD
2018 Alabama FR 1 -- -- -- --
2019 Alabama FR 2 -- -- -- --
2020 Alabama SO -- -- -- --
2021 Alabama JR 14 26 410 15.8 8
2022 Alabama SR 11 30 377 12.6 4
Total Alabama 56 787 14.1 12
Enjoy this article? Follow us to never miss more!

Powered by


More San Francisco 49ers News

placeholder image

49ers reporter predicts which six wide receivers make team's 53-man roster

By Marc Adams
Jul 14

It's almost time for NFL training camps to begin. San Francisco 49ers rookies report this coming week, with the veterans reporting the following week. It's a time when camp battles begin heating up and discussions ensue about which players will make the final 53-man roster. One...

placeholder image

Steve Young: 'Elite' 49ers QB Brock Purdy will only get better

By David Bonilla
Jul 12

Steve Young believes NFL quarterbacks need significant support to succeed, and few have as much talent around them as San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Brock Purdy. Some critics argue that Purdy's success is primarily due to the playmakers around him. However, Young considers...

placeholder image

ESPN: 49ers' George Kittle the NFL's most well-rounded tight end, but not the best

By David Bonilla
Jul 12

George Kittle is coming off his third career season surpassing 1,000 receiving yards. However, simply looking at his statistics doesn't provide a complete picture of what the tight end means to the San Francisco 49ers. Kittle earned Pro Football Focus' highest overall grade...

placeholder image

CBS Sports picks recent Shanahan call as 49ers' biggest do-over of all-time

By David Bonilla
Jul 13

The San Francisco 49ers have a storied history of success, but certain plays linger in fans' minds as moments they'd want to redo. There is Roger Craig's fumble in the NFC Championship Game on January 20, 1991, preventing the 49ers from becoming the first team to win three...


Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone