The 49ers didn’t have to stray far for their newest blocking tight end. The club drafted Stanford’s Kaden Smith with the 176th pick in the NFL draft Saturday.
Smith (6-foot-5, 250 pounds) had 70 receptions for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns during his two seasons for the Cardinal. His 4.92 in the 40-yard dash was one of the slowest among tight ends, but he’s considered an above-average blocker who could battle for a roster spot among San Francisco’s tight ends behind George Kittle.
Smith was a one-year starter and was one of eight tight ends on Football Bowl Subdivision teams with at least 600 receiving yards in 2018. Veteran Garrett Celek, who turns 31 next month, is entering the final year of his contract. Smith should have a chance to be his eventual replacement.
Smith was the 49ers’ third pick on draft’s final day. He joins Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky (Round 4) and Arkansas linebacker Dre Greenlaw (Round 5). San Francisco’s tight ends include Kittle, Celek, Ross Dwelley and Marcus Lucas.