49ers begin 8th round with tight end prospect

According to general manager Scot McCloughan, the 49ers plan to sign 8 to 10 college prospects who were not selected in this weekend's draft as free agents, and the team began that process late Sunday afternoon by agreeing to terms with a tight end that several analysts expected would be drafted as high as the fifth round.

Scout.com's Adam Caplan is reporting that Oklahoma's Joe Jon Finley, a two-year starter for the Sooners, has agreed to a contract with the 49ers and will join the team in time to participate Friday in the beginning of the team's three-day spring minicamp.

McCloughan would not confirm the deal or talk specifically about any undrafted rookie free agents because no contracts have been signed. But he says he is excited about the rookie players the team anticipates adding as free agents that were not caught in the draft.

Finley will join a team that currently has holdover veterans Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker and Billy Bajema and newcomer veteran Cooper Wallace at the position.

Finley, 6-foot-6 and 258 pounds, has the frame of an offensive lineman, the speed to line up at wide receiver and soft hands. He doesn't stand out in many areas but is solid in most as an all-around tight end.

Here's the expert analysis on Finley from Scout.com's Tom Marino, a former NFL scout with 35 years of experience as a talent evaluator:

"A former prep quarterback with good hands and intelligence," Marino says of Finley, "Was effective in the under zones, but was not what I would consider an up-the-seam threat. Along the line of scrimmage is a try-hard guy, but doesn't have the leg strength and power to either sustain and/or finish (does work at it). If he matures physically, I see him as factoring as a second or third tight end and special teams contributor. Has 5th- to 7th-round draft potential."

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