Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


George Kittleā€™s rookie stats with 49ers impressive when compared to high-profile NFL tight ends

Jul 3, 2018 at 10:11 AM--


San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle had 43 receptions for 515 yards with two touchdowns during his rookie NFL campaign last year. With Jimmy Garoppolo as his quarterback, he had a breakout Week 17 performance against the Los Angeles Rams, registering four catches for 100 yards. Kittle had three games with 50-or-more reception yards. Two of those games came in the final three weeks of the season.

Kittle put up those numbers despite an injury-plagued season. He had to deal with hamstring, calf, hip, chest, back, elbow, and ankle injuries as a rookie. The high-ankle injury was his most restricting during the season because it prevented him from properly planting his foot.

"We always knew he was hurting, but for him to get away, clean his body up, get healthy, to come back and just watch how he moves right now, it just shows us how banged up he was," said head coach Kyle Shanahan last month.

Kittle spent much of the offseason building muscle mass and looks forward to entering the 2018 season completely healthy and, hopefully, staying that way.

"I had ups and downs, obviously, throughout the season," Kittle said last month. "I think it's something that you just get used to yearly. It's also a lot different coming in as a rookie ... You're training the whole offseason. You don't really have any time off for your body to recover. I think that kind of led to it. I definitely wasn't feeling as good as I do now than I did last year. Feeling really good now, so I'm just really looking forward to being on the field healthy."

Tight ends coach Jon Embree believes a healthy Kittle can be a dangerous weapon on the football field this season for Garoppolo to utilize.

"His thing is staying healthy, as it is with a lot of players," Embree said. "I think if he's able to do that, everyone's going to be pleased what he brings to the table for us."

What was impressive about Kittle's injury-plagued rookie campaign was how it compares to the rookie seasons of some high-profile NFL tight ends. Below is a look at a handful of those names and where Kittle's statistics rank among them.

Name Year Team Rec Yds TD
Rob Gronkowski 2010 NE 42 546 10
George Kittle 2017 SF 43 515 2
Jordan Reed 2013 WAS 45 499 3
Zach Ertz 2013 PHI 36 469 4
Greg Olsen 2007 CHI 39 391 2
Antonio Gates 2003 SD 24 389 2
Jimmy Graham 2010 NO 31 356 5
Vernon Davis 2006 SF 20 265 3


Because of his 2017 performance, Kittle's name has become a popular answer when attempting to identify a potential breakout player for the 49ers this year.

"Kittle could wind up being one of those 800-yard candidates this season, particularly if you subscribe to the notion that players make their biggest leaps between years one and two," wrote our own Peter Penacy.

"Fifteen of those (43) catches, for 224 yards and one touchdown, came in the final five games when the offense was starting to click," shared our own Vincent M. Wu. "He's already on the path to showing what he can do."

The healthy Kittle and the rest of his teammates will report to training camp on July 25.



Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers' George Kittle shows off 'Kittle Light' beer at TEU

By David Bonilla
Jun 23

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle is an established NFL star. Now, he has a beer named after him. Bud Light is an official sponsor of Kittle's Tight End University, which kicked off this week. The beer company announced its commitment to the position as it becomes the "Official Beer Sponsor of Tight Ends." The deal was announced at the start of Tight End University, the three-day gathering of NFL tight ends in Tennessee. The event is in its second year. Kittle shared the sponsorship news on Instagram, showing off a custom can of "Kittle



49ers' George Kittle wishes NFL fans were more like college football fans

By David Bonilla
Jun 23

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle joined the Bussin' with the Boys podcast this week, joined by Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Both are in Tennessee for Kittle's Tight End University. Allen is among several quarterbacks on hand to throw footballs to the large contingent of tight ends. During the lengthy conversation on the Barstool Sports podcast, the topic of fanbases came up. Allen has played in front of Bills Mafia his entire career, while Kittle has been among The Faithful. The two groups create very different atmospheres heading into game days, leading Kittle to reflect on his college playing days at



NFL analyst believes 49ers' offensive line has "high-end potential"

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Jun 18

The San Francisco 49ers have faced some serious roster turnover with their offensive line, as left guard Laken Tomlinson went to the New York Jets in free agency, while center Alex Mack chose to retire after one season with the organization. In addition, right tackle Mike McGlinchey is coming off a torn quadriceps injury that sidelined him for the second half of the 2021 NFL season, although head coach Kyle Shanahan believes the Notre Dame product should be ready for training camp. Earlier this week, PFF's Mike Renner conducted his offensive line rankings for 2022 with several tiers: Minor or no weaknesses(tier 1), high floor(tier 2), high-end potential(tier 3), at



49ers TE George Kittle's one goal: 'Win a Super Bowl'

By David Bonilla
Jun 20

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle made headlines last week, telling Kevin Hart on the LOL Network show, Cold as Balls, that he would love to see the NFL add a second bye week. "Seventeen games is a lot," Kittle said. "It's a lot of games with one bye, whether it's Week 4 or the bye is Week 11. I'm advocating for two byes." Kittle is preparing to enter his sixth NFL season. San Francisco made the tight end a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. While he has come close to winning a championship, he has yet to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Kittle came extremely close during the 2019 season. However, he watched his Niners collapse in the


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone