We’ll continue to sing the praises of the 49ers defensive line and Jimmy Garoppolo, but George Kittle now deserves credit. While we’re sitting here getting videos of him partying and going Gronk, PFF has released this happy little stat:
That’s the NFL. Not tight ends, NFL. George Kittle has the highest grade in the league. I know there’s a lot of dissension on PFF as of late and how they handle grades. All I have to say is somebody thinks Kittle is good at this football thing.
Kittle’s numbers have taken a slight dip in 2019. He’s got 165 yards on 17 receptions and zero touchdowns. That’s fine because while Kittle is an impressive weapon in the middle of the field, the 49ers have this concept called running the ball and Kittle has been an absolute behemoth in that regard. Just search his name + run blocking on Twitter and go to gif city on that.
The last tight end hopeful was Vance McDonald who was a stellar blocker, but couldn’t catch a pass to save his life. McDonald was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017 and in 2018 had a lot of improvement, catching 50 passes on 72 targets (69 percent—which isn’t bad at all). I still wonder what could have been had the 49ers kept McDonald’s and had him and Kittle running the show. That would have been some of the best tight end blocking in the league. McDonald could have complimented Kittle well, but the Steelers trade and a fresh start may have done wonders for his career as well.
So the 49ers are undefeated, the top seed in the NFC, and George Kittle is the best NFL player per PFF. #progress.