NFL Draft 2023: 49ers pick Oklahoma tight end Brayden Willis No. 247 overall
49ers pick Oklahoma tight end Brayden Willis No. 247 overall originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers made a selection Saturday to add even more depth at tight end, making sure George Kittle has a substantial supporting cast.
With the No. 247 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan selected Brayden Willis, a tight end from Oklahoma.
Willis (6-foot-3, 242 pounds) is known for his blocking skills but still has the numbers for a solid pass catcher as well. The former Sooner racked up 39 catches for 514 yards in his final season at Oklahoma, including 7.2 yards after the catch, according to ProFootballFocus.com.
Willis also led his team in receiving touchdowns with seven, earning him Second Team All-Big 12 honors while also serving as a team captain.
Willis will join fellow draft pick Cameron Latu (No. 101) in working with and learning from All-Pro Kittle. Lynch and Shanahan have been trying to elevate the group as a whole, and the newest additions will compete for the four tight end spots the team usually keeps on the roster.
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If Willis can prove his run blocking and pass protection are up to par, he could carve out some time on the field. But first, he will have to make himself available for special teams work. Now the former Sooner is in the best potion possible to learn from one of the best in Kittle.
Both Willis and Latu are picks for the future, with Charlie Woerner on the final year of his rookie contract and Ross Dwelley returning on a one-year deal for the 2023 NFL season.
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