Reported visit underscores Harbaugh’s emphasis on TEs

National Football Post is reporting the 49ers will bring in Penn State wide receiver Brett Brackett, who is projected to be a tight end in the NFL, for a private workout this week.

Tight end? Don’t the 49ers have enough of those guys with Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Nate Byham? Perhaps. But Brackett’s visit would seem to underscore Jim Harbaugh’s desire to stockpile tall, athletic and versatile tight ends. The 6-foot-6, 248-pound Brackett, who ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at his pro day, certainly appears to possess the preferred attributes.

At Stanford this past season, Cardinal tight ends Coby Fleener, Zach Ertz and Konrad Rueland were each 6-6 and weighed at least 244 pounds (and combined for 65 catches, 833 yards and 13 TDs). In addition, Stanford’s opening-day starter at tight end was Levine Toilolo (6-8, 264), who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Cardinal’s first game. Stanford’s tight ends routinely split out wide or in the slot, which Brackett did as a receiver with the Nittany Lions.

Brackett, who wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine, is an off-the-radar prospect who had 17 catches for 189 yards in his first three seasons at Penn State. As a senior this past season, he had 39 catches for 525 yards and five touchdowns. An all-state quarterback in high school, he is a four-time all-academic Big Ten selection who was named a team captain before the 2010 season despite his modest production.

In what is viewed as a weak tight end class, National Football Post ranks Brackett 20th among its tight end prospects. In its scouting report on Brackett, it terms him “an intriguing pass-catching developmental tight end” who was one of the “better blocking wideouts in the country.”

• Niners offensive assistant coach Bobby Engram, a Penn State alum, was the featured speaker at a student-athlete scholarship banquet Sunday in State College, Pa., in which Brackett was one of the 10 honorees.

Engram, who joined the Niners after a 14-year NFL career that ended in September when he was cut by the Browns, admits that he initially struggled to leave the game in this interview with The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper. Engram said he had a “mini Brett Favre episode” as he made the transition.

Comments are closed.