49ers trade up from No. 61 to No. 55, select TE McDonald

49ers trade up from No. 61 to No. 55, select TE McDonald
April 26, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Vance McDonald bench-pressed 225 pounds 31 times, the most reps of any tight end at the NFL Combine. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers traded the No. 61 overall pick and a sixth round pick (No. 173 overall) to Green Bay in exchange for the No. 55 pick.

After moving up six spots, they used their selection on tight end Vance McDonald of Rice.

Earlier in the second round, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Zach Ertz (Stanford) at No. 35, and the Dallas Cowboys took Gavin Escobar (San Diego State) with the 47th overall pick.

VANCE McDONALD
Position: Tight end
School: Rice
Height/weight: 6 foot 4, 262 pounds
College career: McDonald started 28 of 48 games at Rice and was a consensus All-Conference USA selection. He caught 119 passes for 1,504 yards (12.6 average) and 15 touchdowns in his career.
Scouting report: McDonald has very good size with long arms. He is a good target against zone defenses. He ran a 4.69 in the 40 and bench-pressed 225 pounds 31 times. He is plenty powerful to serve as a force as a blocker, too. He has not worked much on his blocking, but has a lot of potential in that area. He has experience as a slot receiver.
How he fits: Vernon Davis is the no-questions-asked starter, but the 49ers need to find a way to replace the extensive play time that Delanie Walker earned over the past several seasons. Walker played nearly 60 percent of the time last year, as his ability as a run-blocker was utilized every bit as much as his ability as a pass-catcher. Garrett Celek and Cameron Morrah are the only other tight ends on the roster, so the door is open for a rookie to step into a backup role.
In his words: "Absolutely. You have to approach it that way. The events all coming up, all the preparation it takes to get here, you certainly have to carry that confidence with you. You have to certainly always expect it."
--Vance McDonald at NFL combine on whether he considers himself the best tight end in the draft

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