Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

FS1‘s Doug Gottlieb says 49ers’ George Kittle is ‘not really a blocker’

Dec 4, 2019 at 11:29 AM--

George Kittle is widely considered one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. That is unless you ask Doug Gottlieb of FS1.

"George Kittle, not really a blocker," Doug Gottlieb said via our friends over at TheSFNiners. "Unbelievable talent but not really a blocker."

That may be news to ... well ... everyone else. It's uncertain if this was a mistake by Gottlieb, somehow taken out of context, or just a lack of information on his part.

Sometimes, the Pro Bowl tight end's impressive play as a pass-catcher can significantly overshadow his skill as a blocker.

Kittle remains Pro Football Focus's highest-graded player (93.8). Not highest-graded tight end — highest-graded player, period. His run-blocking grade of 74.4 ranks in the top 5 among tight ends, and his run-blocking grade of 78.1 on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens was his best of the season.

Kittle may have struggled some in pass blocking over the last couple of weeks since returning from knee and ankle injuries, but before that, he was grading high in that area, too.

Kittle, along with right tackle Mike McGlinchey, was critical to the 49ers' success running the football in Baltimore on Sunday. Running back Raheem Mostert had single-game career-highs in carries (19) and rushing yards (146) to go along with his rushing touchdown at M&T Bank Stadium.

"In terms of just how he did, that was probably as good of a run blocking game in terms of how much a tight end," head coach Kyle Shanahan said this week of Kittle's performance against the Ravens, "in the outside-zone, could move the edge. He dominated that game. Our edges were as good as they've almost ever been, and that's why we were able to put a fast running back in there and just stay on track and hit the numbers pretty hard. He was very impressive, so was McGlinchey on the edge, too."

H/t to Jessica Kleinschmidt of NBC Sports Bay Area for the find.

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