The San Francisco 49ers have made their first of two fifth round picks in the 2017 NFL draft. The team selected Iowa tight end George Kittle. He joins a depth chart that includes Vance McDonald, Garrett Celek, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell, and Je’Ron Hamm. The 49ers reportedly are trying to trade McDonald.
Kittle will be on the field a lot sooner than his college QB, C.J. Beathard, but it’s intriguing the 49ers decided to spend picks on two Hawkeyes. Pro Football Focus compared Kittle to former Washington tight end Chris Cooley. I suppose it is fitting for Kyle Shanahan to bring in a tight end with that comp. Here’s what PFF had to say about Kittle:
Kittle has the athleticism to be a receiving mismatch at the next level though it’s his blocking that makes him a perfect fit as a No. 2 tight end capable of playing in a “move” role. He can separate from linebackers and safeties, whether attached to the formation or in the slot, and while he’ll likely never be a dominant in-line run blocker, Kittle projects as a useful matchup option in a two-tight end offense.
NFL.com compared him to Charles Clay, and had this to say:
H-back type who lacks the desired size for in-line blocking but certainly has the technique and willingness to do it. He has good hands and flashes an ability to challenge as a pass catcher on all three levels. Kittle has the athleticism and blocking ability to become an effective move tight end if paired in the right system.
1. First round: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
2. First round: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
3. Third round: Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
4. Third round: C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
5. Fourth round: Joe Williams, RB, Utah
6. Fifth round: George Kittle, TE, Iowa
7. Fifth round: Denver Broncos - No. 33 (177 overall)
8. Sixth round: Baltimore Ravens (Jeremy Zuttah trade) - No. 14 (198 overall)
9. Sixth round: Denver Broncos (Vernon Davis trade) - No. 18 (202 overall)
10. Seventh round: New Orleans Saints - No. 1 (229 overall)