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49ers continue TE search, hold pre-draft meeting with Louisiana’s Neal Johnson

Apr 10, 2024 at 7:03 PM


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After failing to acquire Detroit Lions tight end Brock Wright, the San Francisco 49ers signed former Houston Texans tight end Eric Saubert to a one-year deal. However, the team will likely still look to the draft to bolster the depth behind All-Pro George Kittle.

According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC2, the 49ers held a virtual meeting with Louisiana tight end Neal Johnson.


In five seasons with the Ragin' Cajuns, the 6-foot-4, 233-pound tight end amassed 1,196 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Johnson recorded a career-high 383 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 30 catches as a senior last season, earning third-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors. His five scores led Louisiana in 2023.

Johnson has shown gradual improvement over his collegiate career. His 61.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus last season marked a career-high, an improvement over the 44.9 grade earned in his freshman 2019 campaign.

Kittle's primary backup last season was Charlie Woerner, who departed in free agency to the Atlanta Falcons. Another backup, Ross Dwelley, remains unsigned. Last year, the 49ers drafted two tight ends, Cameron Latu and Brayden Willis. Latu spent last season on injured reserve, and Willis played only 48 snaps as a rookie.

Kittle caught 65 passes for 1,020 yards and six touchdowns last season while playing 89 percent of the offensive snaps. All other 49ers tight ends combined for four catches for 44 yards.

For a comprehensive overview of all reported formal and informal meetings between the 49ers and prospective NFL rookies, visit our pre-draft tracker.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place in Detroit, Michigan, from Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27.
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