Each year, we run a series of post called "90-in-90" here at Niners Nation. The idea is that we'll take a look at every single player on the roster, from the very bottom to the top and break them down a few different ways. This is to help give everyone a basic understanding of a roster. Of course, this roster will change, and some days we'll have more than one so it's not strictly one per day but you get the idea.
Another day, another look at the San Francisco 49ers’ roster with our 90-in-90 series. On today’s agenda, tight end George Kittle.
The fifth-round draft pick out of Iowa has been nothing short of impressive in the 49ers’ offseason program. In his senior season with the Hawkeyes, Kittle caught 22 passes for 314 yards and four touchdowns. He has stood out both among the 49ers’ rookies and in the 49ers’ offense this spring, and that only promises to continue in training camp and beyond.
Weight: 247 pounds
Kittle signed a four-year, $2,698,296 contract with a signing bonus of $298,296. His cap hit in 2017 will be $515,487.
What to Expect in 2017
During the last two days of the 49ers’ offseason program, Kittle further established himself with three touchdowns, one from each of the Niner quarterbacks, including his college teammate C.J. Beathard. He caught six passes overall in minicamp. He has shown toughness and ability to take advantage of situations. One of those touchdowns came on a blown coverage. Point, Kittle.
Even if Vance McDonald is still on the roster come the beginning of the season, I would not be surprised if Kittle is the 49ers’ starting tight end. He brings a talent and intensity that has been severely lacking on this team, and he has the football character that has become the buzz phrase of the organization.
“…George is coming, really battling,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “He’s competed in the run and the pass game. George is a guy you can tell he is going for it, because the way he competes on the field…Mainly, what he does off the field too. He’s really trying to learn it and that’s given him a chance to show up a little bit.”
Odds of Making the Team
It’s not a matter of whether or not Kittle makes the team, but how soon he is the starter. I still think day one is strong possibility, but if that’s not case, it will be some point in the 2017 season.
Want to learn more about the rookie tight end? Watch 5 Fun Facts with George Kittle!