The San Francisco 49ers scored themselves a solid tight end when spent a fifth round pick on George Kittle. In 15 games, Kittle finished with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns. He finished 18th among tight ends in both receptions and receiving yards. But it was his performance as a rookie that really stood out.
Marcus Mosher is doing analysis of NFL tight ends for the Bleacher Report NFL 1000 series, and he offered this cool stat about Kittle’s work this season.
Here is the list of TEs in NFL history who had at least 500 receiving yards in their rookie season that were drafted after the fourth round:— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) January 12, 2018
George Kittle - 515
He made a later clarification. Tim Wright had 571 yards, but as an undrafted player, he did not show up in Mosher’s search. So, Kittle is one of two tight ends in NFL history drafted after the fourth round or in undrafted free agency to have at least 500 receiving yards.
Kittle finished second to Marquise Goodwin among 49ers pass catchers in receptions and yards. He would have finished third if Pierre Garçon had not gotten hurt, but either way, he was an involved part of this offense. Kittle was supplanted by Garrett Celek as the No. 1 tight end during the middle of the season, but that was due in part to Celek’s play and in part to Kittle dealing with a host of injuries throughout the season. As he got healthier in the final month of the season, we saw him become a more active part of the offense. And it bodes well heading into 2018.