One spot after his former Stanford coach passed on taking him, tight end Zach Ertz went to the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday.

The pieces appeared in place for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to take the player he recruited to Stanford with the second pick of the day. The Niners seemingly had a need at the position after Delanie Walker signed a free-agent contract with the Tennessee Titans last month.

But the Niners traded the pick to Tennessee, and Ertz slipped to the No. 35, where new Eagles coach Chip Kelly took him.

The consensus All-American from Danville was the first Stanford player chosen in the draft a year after quarterback Andrew Luck was the No. 1 overall pick.

Stanford tight end Zach Ertz makes a catch over Wisconsin’s Dezmen Southward for 43 yards in the first quarter at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Stanford tight end Zach Ertz makes a catch over Wisconsin's Dezmen Southward for 43 yards in the first quarter at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (Jim Gensheimer/Staff) ( Jim Gensheimer )

Ertz talked last week about following long-time mentor Brent Jones to the 49ers. He called Jones "a huge part of my life" since his days at Monte Vista High.

Ertz said Jones was hoping the 49ers would pick him, but added, "At the end of the day, I think he just wants me to be happy."

Ertz missed by three spots becoming the first Stanford tight end taken in the first round of the draft. The 6-foot-5, 249-pounder was the second tight end taken in the 2013 draft, following Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert, who went to Cincinnati in the first round.

Last fall, Ertz led all FBS tight ends with 898 yards on 69 receptions -- both school records for the position. Ertz enjoyed his best game in Stanford's road upset of No. 1 Oregon, catching 11 passes for 106 yards, including the game-tying touchdown.


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Over three seasons at Stanford, Ertz had 112 receptions for 1,434 yards and 15 touchdowns.