The player who figures to benefit most from Vance McDonald’s trade is veteran Garrett Celek, a sixth-year player who originally signed with the 49ers in 2012 as an undrafted rookie from Michigan State.
Celek has 56 catches for 678 yards and six touchdowns in 55 games. McDonald recorded 64 receptions for 866 yards and seven touchdowns in 48 games with 30 starts.
The 49ers could look to retain undrafted rookie tight end Cole Hikutini on the practice squad, if the team waives him and he goes unclaimed by the other 31 teams. Blake Bell, who enters his third season after being a fourth-round pick in 2015, faces a stiff challenge to make the team.
We think Kittle could benefit the most from a fantasy standpoint, but maybe in the short term Celek is more productive. We think Kittle is a great athlete, although currently a little light for the position.
McDonald has battled injuries since the 49ers selected him in the second round of the 2013 draft. He missed two games earlier this season because of a hip issue. McDonald leads the 49ers with four touchdown catches and an average of 16.3 yards per catch on 24 receptions. Celek and Bell are next up on the depth chart.
Boldin has a hamstring injury and was a game-time decision. He is averaging 3.4-35-0.20 in his last five meetings with the Seahawks (since 2013, including the postseason). Hyde is calling his injury a stress fracture, per Tracy Wolfson, but is going to play though it tonight.
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick appeared to show his most progress with touch on his passes throughout the day. And he finished strong with his final throw resulting in a 21-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis along the back line of the end zone between the tight coverage of cornerback Tramaine Brock and safety Craig Dahl.
During a 7-on-7 drill, Kaepernick displayed a variety of different throws. He lofted soft passes to running back Reggie Bush and rookie tight end Blake Bell for scores. And he drilled a throw to Anquan Boldin between the coverage of Shayne Skov and Corey Lemonier.
It was reported earlier in the offseason that the team planned to utilize Kaepernick’s running ability to a greater degree. Kaepernick ran the ball 12 more times in 2014 than he did in 2013 for an additional 115 yards, so it's not like he abandoned the scramble. It sounds like it's more about utilizing the read-option as a larger part of the offense. If that's the case, it could be a boon to Kaepernick's fantasy value. He was the #14 QB in 2014 after finishing #9 the season before, though his overall production only dipped by 11 fantasy points. He's a bounceback candidate provided new OC Geep Chryst can design an offense that can move the ball. Chryst previously served as the OC for the Chargers in 1999 and 2000, but his offenses ranked 26th and 28th overall in that span. Any gains that Kaepernick can make as a thrower (due to his offseason work with QB coach Dennis Gile and former Rams/Cardinals QB Kurt Warner) will only help his overall value.