49ers hoping Chris Harper can be replacement for Delanie Walker

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Former Seattle Seahawks fourth-round draft pick Chris Harper isn’t just changing teams this week, he’s changing positions as well.

Harper was released by Seattle during roster cuts over the weekend and signed to the Seahawks’ practice squad. However, the San Francisco 49ers elected to sign Harper to their active roster and lured him away from their division rival. Now the 49ers have a new role in mind for Harper that has him doing things he’s never done in his football career.

The 49ers hope to mold Harper into a replacement for tight end Delanie Walker, who signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason. San Francisco would put Walker on the line of scrimmage and split him out wide as a receiving threat that served as a strong complement for Vernon Davis. Harper, a former college quarterback and receiver, will have to get used to playing on the line of scrimmage for the first time.

I’ve never gotten in a three-point stance before, so that’s going to be different for me,” Harper said, via Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Harper found himself buried on Seattle’s depth chart following strong training camps from Jermaine Kearse and Stephen Williams left Harper as the odd man out when they kept just five receivers on their active roster. Harper won’t exclusively become a tight end, but the transition could give him a better chance to seeing the field soon for the 49ers.

24 responses to “49ers hoping Chris Harper can be replacement for Delanie Walker

  1. Um, yeah….

    I don’t think SF would’ve waited one 6 days before the season started to address the need.

    Vance McDonald is going to fill the void Delanie left and fill it well.

  2. Geez Harbaugh really must think his fans and media are idiots. So you have a 4th Round pick who was beat out 6 other WR’s on the Seahawks…2 of which were in drafted free agents…the niners pick him up a wk before opening day – and he’s going to be Delaney Walker!

    Thats rich….very amusing.

  3. The Seahawks seem to have an affinity for moving players to new positions and getting more out of them, yet one if their few real needs right now is a move TE who can block, and they didn’t convert the perfect candidate in Harper. If this works out well in SF, it’s going to sting in Seatown.

  4. They were hoping to sneak MarQueis Gray on to the practice squad and work him into that Delaine Walker role. Obviously they had to look for an alternative when the Browns claimed Gray off waivers and made him part of their 53 man roster. Gray is a great team player. Most QBs wouldn’t go from QB to WR to TE for the betterment of the team. Tebow could learn something from MarQueis, but that is a whole other can of worms in itself.

  5. I find this a curious move with Vance McDonald already playing well as Walker’s replacement not to mention that the Niners drafted him specifically to be Delanie’s replacement. It either means that McDonald isn’t working out as well as they thought he would or that the Niners are simply covering up the fact that they’ve now done to SEA what GB did to SF.

  6. He was released because he showed little ability to create separation and displayed brick hands.

    Now all of a sudden he’s a tight end too?

    The Seahawks wanted to develop him on their practice squad but the 49ers signed him to their active roster.

    San Francisco has the deepest roster? I think not.

  7. “their few real needs right now is a move TE who can block”

    Yeah, except for Zach Miller & Luke Wilson we’re hurting there. We only have 2.

    Harper can’t catch, and is at least a year away from becoming a legit NFL contributor, much less starter. And he’ll never be a good TE.

    The 49ers will cut him by week 5.

  8. Vance McDonald will fill Delanie Walker’s role. Harper is an experiment. He has a similar body to Delanie. He may not have the best hands, but then again neither did Delanie really. If it works out, great. If not, no loss.

  9. So, they sign him days before the start of the regular season and want to move him to a position he’s never played?

    No sir, they just wanted the Seattle playbook.

  10. The guy filling the Delanie role will be the guy the 49ers leapfrogged the Seahawks for Vance McDonald. I think Celek might be the odd man out when Manningham, Crabtree, or Dobbs are back. Harper is good at blocking so maybe he is brought in to block in some packages as he learns the ins and outs of TE and is then given a shot to contribute more later in the season.

    Also people are acting like Delanie had sticky hands or something? Delanie had so many key drops during his tenure it could have been part of a 49ers drinking game.

  11. 13-6. That was the score of the first 49ers – Seahawks game last season. Wilson had his worst game of the year in SF.

  12. good player just joined a deep seattle roster. good luck to you dude… hopefully kaep doesnt set you up a date with kam when you come to seattle like your new teamate vernon. lol

  13. @mrpolarbear99: That’s because Darrell Bevell still had the baby training wheels on Wilson and the offense. Well that and Robert Turbin dropped a perfectly placed TD pass.

    The second game (42-13) is more along the lines of what you can expect from Wilson and this offense going forward.

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