Catching up with Nate Byham

Nate Byham and Dorin Dickerson are getting ready to begin their pro careers and with the draft recently completed, are both starting to get some press.

To start, Byham talks a little about his family issues growing up:
Like fellow rookie Anthony Dixon, Byham also had to deal with a less-than-idyllic childhood, and was raised by his grandfather. "I've never met my father and my mom has had a lot of drug and alcohol issues and a lot of personal issues throughout my life," he revealed. "I've been in and out of a lot of houses and a lot of close friends have helped me out. I've always been with my grandfather and he's been a rock and taken care of me."
Meanwhile, when discussing Byham's on-field strengths, the common theme among articles out there seems to be focusing on his toughness. Coach Mike Singletary sounds sold and even has some plans to possibly move him from tight end from time to time:
I talked to Dave Wannstedt early on in the offseason and he told me a lot about this young man and his ability to really be a physical guy, and really give us some added protection there at the tight end position. I really feel good about what he’s doing. He can also give us some flexibility as an H-back. He can line up and play fullback and go downhill and go and dig out a linebacker.
The Bleacher Report isn't a great news source in my opinion, but some of their lists are pretty interesting. They call out potential dark horse rookies for each team and name Nate Byham as the 49ers pick.

And of course, Byham's role will focus on blocking:
The 233-pound Dixon led the Southeastern Conference in rushing last season at Mississippi State, and the 264-pound Byham was considered one of the nation's top blocking tight ends at the University of Pittsburgh.

Both fit well with the team's new persona. Byham will be used like a third tackle in some situations and Dixon adds size to the backfield in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
But then again, Sacramento Bee blogger Matt Barrows likes what he sees of Byham's receiving skills in minicamp:
I don't want to jinx him, but tight end Nate Byham seems to have underrated hands. He caught everything thrown his way for the second straight practice, including a poorly thrown dart by Brown that was at Byham's ankles.
And if that's not enough, special teams could be in his future.

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