Pro Football Focus Honors 49ers' George Kittle as Best Player for 2019
Jose Luis Sanchez III
Pro Football Focus announced yesterday that they have honored San Francisco 49ers' tight end George Kittle with their Stephenson award as the best player for 2019.
The Stephenson award was created by Pro Football Focus to acknowledge the best player in the NFL regardless of position and regardless of how much value he brought to the table. Kittle's impact on the 49ers was felt throughout the entire roster. His presence just gives the team that extra electricity, which is fitting since Kittle is dubbed "The People's Tight End" in reference to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Kittle's monstrous season earned him an elite grade of 95.0 from Pro Football Focus, which is the highest grade that they have ever given to a tight end. His record breaking grade knocks off former New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski as the highest graded tight end by three points. Kittle put up 85 catches for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns.
The numbers he put up this seasons become increasingly impressive when you consider he missed two games this season. However, his numbers are not the only thing that is impressive about him.
Kittle is a two-dimensional tight end with his ability to block in the run game or go out on a route. Not many tight ends are capable of having that versatility. They are usually just one trick ponies, so the fact that Kittle can do both already makes him a solid talent.
But what separates Kittle from the rest of the group is that he does both at an exceedingly high-level. He runs route so crisp and is one of the most dependable receivers in the game. Tag that along with his ability to move the top edge rushers at will.
The 49ers easily have one of the best offensive weapons in football. It's why play-action and pre-snap motions are so difficult to key in on against the 49ers with Kittle.
He could start out blocking to sell the run, then easily break open away from the line of scrimmage to gash a defense. And if he motions, it'll force a defense to shift his way or a player will have to follow him.
Kittle was practically built in a lab because he is the ultimate tight end. It's why Pro Football Focus honored him with their Stephenson award and is also why the San Francisco 49ers have advanced to the Super Bowl.