Print and Go Back ESPN.com: San Francisco 49ers [Print without images]

Thursday, October 17, 2013
49ers happy with rookie tight end

By Bill Williamson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Tight end Vance McDonald, a second-round draft pick by the 49ers, has been playing extremely well in the past few weeks.

His statistical impact hasn’t been great. The Rice product has five catches for 66 yards. However, San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman said McDonald is making a strong impression because he is making strong strides as a rookie.

“We’ve asked a lot of him the past couple weeks, really the past three weeks,” Roman said. “[We] couldn’t be more pleased with how he’s done. And really expect him to take those kinds of steps moving forward. The one thing you notice about players is everybody’s going to make mistakes as a rookie. That’s a fact. And do you repeat those mistakes? Thus far, he’s done a great job of learning from the good, the bad and the ugly and moving on a better football player. So, he’s done a really nice job and it needs to continue.”

It seems to me McDonald is still learning his way as an NFL route runner, which is to be expected. He has impressed as a blocker. This rookie work will serve McDonald well in his development. I won’t be shocked if he quickly emerges as an impact player.

In other 49ers notes: