Vance McDonald

Vance McDonald is no higher than 49ers' third tight end

The San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald is the 49ers' likely third-string tight end, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Week 1 lineup projection indicates.

What It Means:

Garrett Celek played ahead of McDonald before an injury last year, then signed an offseason extension, which is a sign the team likes him. Bruce Miller converted from fullback to tight end and the Press Democrat's Grant Cohn considers him "one of the best players on the offense." Cohn also calls McDonald "just a guy." CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco later tweeted it's "close between those three". McDonald showed rapport with quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the second half of last year, but that appears to be all he has going for him.

McDonald saw plenty of good volume in 2015, but his Reception Net Expected Points per target ranked just 34th among the 44 tight ends with at least 30 targets last year. Our algorithms project him for 35 receptions for 350 yards and 1.56 touchdowns.