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Breaking down Alabama TE Cameron Latu to the 49ers

Rohan Chakravarthi
May 1, 2023 at 3:55 PM--

Two selections after selecting Michigan Wolverines kicker Jake Moody with the No. 99 overall pick, the San Francisco 49ers utilized their second third-round compensatory selection on Alabama Crimson Tide tight end Cameron Latu, potentially finding their backup tight end to star George Kittle, which the organization has attempted to accomplish for the past four seasons.

Latu had been connected to the 49ers during the pre-draft process, as the team brought in the Alabama product on a Top-30 visit amongst other tight ends.

However, was Latu the best value selection at the back end of the third round?

With a run on tight ends occurring during the second round of the NFL Draft, where five players at the position were selected, the 49ers pounced on the position, but reached on Latu, whose athletic profile wasn't amongst the best in his class, and also possesses a few concerns with his production at Alabama.

Latu posted a 4.78 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, with his entire testing coming out primarily average across the board.

Additionally, Latu's frame and strength limit his upside as a blocker, although he did show upside at Alabama on zone-blocking concepts and moving smaller defenders in space.

Despite his average speed, Latu is a solid route-runner at the position, but struggled with concentration drops, posting an 11.1% career drop rate at Alabama.

However, Latu isn't elusive, which can limit after-the-catch opportunities, and questions the translation to the next level, although he has showcased versatility to play both inline and in the slot.

Overall, Latu is an average prospect, but his frame, athletic profile, and dropped passes limit his ceiling as a player, while better talents at the position were still available on the board at No. 99.

The 49ers reached here, but Latu could be a solid second option for the 49ers, being a good redzone threat with 12 touchdowns over the past two years as a receiver.
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.


  • BigAl
    The flip side to my opinion below is that there is certainly the type of athlete who gets on a pro team and really takes advantage and gets their routine and conditioning down to a professional standard. They become better athletes and players than anything they showed previously...Thats my hope for Latu and the team is quoted as saying they believe Latu is on the upswing...So who knows
    May 2, 2023 at 12:21 PM
  • BigAl
    I realize its tough to get excited about a draft when your 1st pick isnt until almost the 4th round...But I hated this pick and this was the hardest draft Ive ever had to watch. Trey Lance needs to pan out or they seriously screwed up, there is no other way to say it.
    May 2, 2023 at 12:12 PM


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