The 49ers have the best tight end in the NFL, but it's clear they want to upgrade George Kittle's backup. And the latest tight end they have been tied to is a former first-round draft pick.
Forbes' Vincent Frank reported Friday that the 49ers have shown interest in making a trade with the New York Giants to acquire Evan Engram.
Not sure about Burton for the 49ers. Will say they have sniffed around for a TE2 behind Kittle and have shown interest in Evan Engram trade. Whether draft, trade or FA, 49ers will add a TE.— Vincent Frank (@VincentFrankNFL) April 17, 2020
Engram, 25, was taken by the Giants with the No. 23 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Injuries have hampered him the last two seasons, and he was limited to only eight games last year. After hauling in 64 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie, he only has averaged 522 receiving yards and 9.5 games played the last two seasons.
The Ole Miss product is known much more for his ability as a receiver than his skills as a blocker. He has blazing speed at 240 pounds with a 4.42 40-yard dash time, though, he might not be a great fit for the 49ers' run-first offense.
Frank's Engram-49ers rumor came the same day the Chicago Bears released tight end Trey Burton, who also could be an option for San Francisco. Aside from Engram, the 49ers also have been connected to free-agent tight end Jordan Reed. They also made a run at Austin Hooper before he agreed to a contract with the Cleveland Browns.
After Levine Toilolo signed with the Giants in free agency, Ross Dwelley currently is backing up Kittle. Dwelley had 15 receptions for only 91 yards and two TDs last season.
Whether it be a trade like Engram or a free agent like Burton, the 49ers have options to upgrade their tight-end competition. They also could be eyeing a handful of draft prospects, including Cole Kmet, Harrison Bryant, Hunter Bryant or Thaddeus Moss.
The 49ers' tight end room soon could become much deeper.