Is George Kittle the Best All-Around Tight End? Jimmy Garoppolo Sure Believes So
One of the reasons why the San Francisco 49ers have been so successful this season is due to the contributions of tight end George Kittle. Following his explosive 2018 season, 2019 raised expectations to enormous heights for him since Jimmy Garoppolo was expected to return.
The expectations may have seemed high initially, but Kittle is surely living up to them. When asked if George Kittle is the best all-around tight end, Garoppolo didn't hesitate with his answer.
“I do, yeah. He just does so much for our offense, like you said, in the run game, pass game, even if he’s a distraction on a play. He’s willing to do whatever you ask him to and for a guy of that talent to do that, it’s impressive.”
There is no debate about who is the 49ers best offensive player. Not too many tight ends are capable of being an elite blocker and receiver. Usually it is only one or the other for a tight end, but Kittle excels at both.
What also makes him a phenomenal talent is what he does once he has the ball in his hands. Kittle is second in both yards after catch (205) and missed tackles (7) among all tight ends, per Pro Football Focus. We all saw what Kittle did to the Rams defense on one of his receptions.
He was just shaking off tackles and bulldozing his way. Even Marcus Peters wanted nothing to do with taking Kittle down. His skill with the ball in his hands is simply remarkable for a tight end.
“I think he’s good at it because of his mindset and his athletic ability, obviously. He just has the mindset of if one guy’s in front of him, he’s already looking at the next guy to make him miss and what he’s going to do in that situation." Jimmy Garoppolo on what makes Kittle so good with the ball in his hands.
He hasn’t had the big numbers we’re accustomed to through the first few games of the season, but he's started to show out in the last two. The best part about his slow numbers start is that he isn’t a “me” guy. You'll never hear him whine or complain about his usage that dwindles his stats.
Kittle is a leader and puts the success of the team first. He does whatever that is asked of him without question. Elite players in this league who don’t have the numbers or targets tend to start speaking out about their displeasure. Just look at what happened with the Vikings and Packers with their receivers.
The moment they aren’t seeing the targets they desire they get all upset. But George Kittle is just a different breed. It’s what makes him different from the rest of the stars in this league. Kittle is the ideal player for a team to offer up a boatload of cash in an extension deal, which he’ll assuredly get.
The San Francisco 49ers have a great one in George Kittle. He just makes the offense go and being in Kyle Shanahan's system just makes it easier for him. It's not like he is a player that really needs to be schemed open. Defenses just have to hate going up against him because it is a struggle to key in on him. They'll never know if he is going to block or go out on a route, which can create a mismatch.
George Kittle, much like the 49ers overall, are not getting the praise they deserve. Kittle is by far one of, if not the best tight end in the league. I believe we are at the point where we can put him above Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz. Considering all that he does and how much he impacts the 49ers' offense he is definitely the best all-around tight end in the NFL.