While NFL Draft pundits and fans alike can give instant reactions to their team's player selections, it's easy to forget that the true value of the picks cannot be fully assessed until after a couple of seasons. Some players become instant starters (Deebo Samuel) while others remain a work in progress (Solomon Thomas). Having said that, I want to pull out the receipts on what draft analysts were saying prior to the draft, along with their player comparisons. With the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, let's review what various scouting outlets were saying about the 49ers' day three picks. The 49ers traded the 210th pick and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin to the Philadelphia Eagles for the 190th in the NFL Draft to select Georgia tight end, Charlie Worner.


NFL Player Comparison: Drew Sample

Dane Brugler of The Athletic appreciates his ability to 'do the dirty work in the run game' in his 2020 NFL Draft Guide:

Often used as a lead blocker from the wing, Woerner is a physical run blocker with an appetite for contact, locating his target and driving his momentum to spring holes. As a receiver, he has adequate movement skills, but struggles shaking free from coverage and winning 50-50 balls. Overall, Woerner has a low NFL ceiling, projecting as a complementary H-Back with his willingness to do the dirty work in the run game.

NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein views him as a 'hard-charging, pesky blocker':

Hard-charging, pesky blocker whose lack of size and length make him a candidate for a move to full time fullback or H-back. Woerner simply doesn't have it in him to give the defender a half-speed rep and he's more than ready to collide into his target on iso-blocks or in space. He has the body control and radar to handle move blocking duties but lacks the physical traits teams seek. Woerner has some athleticism but was a relative non-factor as a pass-catcher and needs to stand out on special teams to bolster his chances.

Anthony Treash and Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus thinks he's a fit in Kyle Shanahan's offense with their live analysis of the 2020 NFL Draft:

Woerner is a tremendous run-blocker and one of the best in the class. That being said, you're not getting much from him in the passing attack. He caught only 20 total passes over the last two years and went 0-for-5 on contested balls. If he fits in any offense, though, it's Kyle Shanahan's.

To the casual fan, trading wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised eyebrows considering he nearly had a 1,000-yards receiving just two seasons ago. Injuries and inconsistencies have hampered Goodwin in recent years and has been the subject of trade rumors for weeks. The 49ers were likely to release him if they were unable to find any suitors on draft day so I would consider this a bonus. They dump his salary while moving up 20 spots in the sixth-round to address a position in need of an upgrade outside George Kittle.

While Woerner only had 34 catches in his four years at Georgia, his bread-and-butter skill set comes in the blocking department. I've heard nothing but great things about his ability to contribute in the run game which is an immediate prerequisite for any Shanahan-led offense. The 49ers have been open about their intention to keep Kittle fresh this upcoming season, especially with the retirement of Garrett Celek. Woerner has a decent chance to compete against the likes of Ross Dwelley and Daniel Helm at tight end but more importantly, his versatility at either fullback or H-back gives him a good chance to make the roster this season. Nonetheless, his excellent blocking would be a welcomed asset if he's able to match Kittle in that department when the star tight end comes off the field.
  • Justin Wong
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    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.