Ross Dwelley Deserves More Targets in the 49ers' Passing Game
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Wide receivers aren't really a focal point in the 49ers' offense, at least not until Deebo Samuel returns to open the field up more.
Tight ends and running backs are the bread and butter for the 49ers passing game. That is why they signed Jordan Reed to increase the depth at tight end.
However, Reed is expected to miss the next six to eight weeks with an MCL sprain. And it isn't a lock that George Kittle will be active for Sunday nights showdown with the Eagles.
Regardless of Kittle's status on Sunday night, the 49ers are in more than good hands with Ross Dwelley. When Reed was ruled out for the game, Dwelley filled in nicely. There was no hiccup or issues when his number got called upon more against the Giants. He showed just how productive he can be when he gets snaps.
That is why Dwelley deserves more targets in the 49ers' passing game.
Dwelley is pretty underrated, and quite frankly deserves some more respect. He runs smooth routes, finds the soft spot in zones and is sure-handed. Yet he is the 49ers' third tight end on the depth chart. He deserves more looks in the passing game.
Creating mismatches is one of Kyle Shanahan's favorite themes he keeps up within his system. By establishing Dwelley consistently as a receiver, he will have added another dynamic and threat in his offense that will make defending the 49ers that much more stressful.
So while losing Reed for the next month or so is a bummer, it definitely doesn't feel like a real loss because Dwelley has been waiting in the wings. He has proven to be a productive receiver and an adequate blocker in the running game.
When Kittle was out for a couple of games last season, it was Dwelley who stepped up and shrunk the hole that was left by the All Pro tight end.
Dwelley has always had the talent. Throughout training camp this year, he looked solid in practically every practice. It looked as if he was going to be the true No. 2 tight end, while Reed would come in on obvious passing downs. While that did not turn into reality, Dwelley did look like a capable No. 2 tight end.
In fact, he could very well start for a few teams in the league. Having a versatile tight end is not common. They are either one or the other for the most part, which is why Kittle should be regarded as the best tight end in the game.
Whenever Kittle and Reed are back, Dwelley should still be involved in the 49ers' offensive game plan. He just gives the offense another weapon to go to when the defense is least expecting him. And once this team gets fully healthy, at least on offense, then it makes more sense to target Dwelley even more because the opposition is not going to worry an ounce about him.
San Francisco is such an immensely deep team and Dwelley is one of the reasons why I can say that.