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With new minds in charge of the 49ers’ offense, it remains to be seen if the organization will use two tight ends as frequently as the past four seasons.
The 49ers need Vernon Davis to return to his pre-2014 form after his disappearing act in the offseason carried over into last year’s regular season. Davis, 31, a nine-year pro, enters the final year of his contract.
There’s no obvious heir apparent on the roster. The 49ers selected Vance McDonald in the second round of the 2013 draft, but he has just 10 receptions in 23 career games and finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury.
The team appears to be high on the athletic Derek Carrier, whom they signed to an extension through 2017.
Who’s here: Vernon Davis, Vance McDonald, Derek Carrier, Garrett Celek, Asante Cleveland, Xavier Grimble.
Draft needs: Based on the lack of production from this position in 2014, it would have to rank high on the 49ers’ list of needs. The 49ers are hoping for a bounce-back season from Davis, but his future beyond this season remains uncertain. If there’s a point in which a tight end is near the top of their list of best-available players, it might be wise to go in that direction.
Good fits: The draft appears to be lacking top-flight talent at tight end, but the 49ers should still have some options in the third and beyond. Clive Walford (Miami) is an option if he’s still unclaimed after two rounds. Devin Funchess (Michigan) is intriguing as a big-bodied receiver who could be converted into a tight end. Nick Boyle (Delaware) had a good showing at the Senior Bowl. He has a well-rounded game and might be an option on Day 3.