I was disappointed down the stretch when George Kittle was being out-snapped by Garrett Celek, and I said that the San Francisco 49ers needed to make big changes at the tight end position. This was before Celek Time became a thing, and before Kittle had a string of good games down the stretch.
Despite getting out-snapped by Celek, Kittle went on to finish the season with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns, second on the team in receiving yardage behind Marquise Goodwin. Celek finished with 21 receptions for 336 yards and four touchdowns.
Kittle was a fifth-round rookie this past season, and many have suggested that injuries limited him earlier in the season, hence Celek getting significantly more playing time. After training camp, 49ers fans were led to believe that Kittle was a serious threat in the receiving game, but that didn’t really pan out much in the early-goings.
Against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 17, Kittle caught four passes for 100 yards, and he put up yardage totals of 42 and 52 yards in Week 16 and 15, respectively. Kittle looked fast, confident and strong over the final few games of the year. He also didn’t have a ton of drops, which were a problem earlier in the year.
At this point, with the big needs at cornerback and some other positions, I can see the 49ers not looking at the tight end position this offseason. There are some interesting names, but ultimately, nothing that is extremely more interesting than Kittle or Celek. I just hope Kittle continues to develop to take and keep the primary starting job from Celek.