Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Sam Monson explains why 49ers’ George Kittle was named PFF’s best player from the 2019 season

Feb 14, 2020 at 11:18 AM--

Pro Football Focus last week released its list of the top 101 players from the 2019 season, and ranked at the top was San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle. He was among six 49ers players listed in the top 101.

The others were cornerback Richard Sherman at No. 13, defensive end Nick Bosa at No. 28, defensive end Arik Armstead at No. 30, safety Jimmie Ward at No. 54, and defensive tackle Deforest Buckner at No. 82.

Kittle finished the regular season with 85 catches for 1,053 yards with five touchdowns and proved to be a vital part of the 49ers' run-blocking. It was the tight end's second consecutive game of 1,000-or-more yards, his second time being selected to the Pro Bowl, and his first time being named a first-team All-Pro.

Kittle's overall PFF grade of 94.3 (including playoffs) was the best in the NFL last season. He earned a grade of 95.0 during the regular season alone. The next-highest grade of 93.7 went to defensive tackle Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams.

Sam Monson, who put together the list for PFF, on Friday joined NFL Now on NFL Network and explained why Kittle was ranked above everyone else.

"Now, remember, this list is all positions created equal, so it's not the most valuable players in the NFL," Monson explained. "It's the best, the most outstanding players in the NFL regardless of position. For us, No. 1 was George Kittle. ... He was a dominant run-blocker; absolutely crushed guys, whether they were defensive backs, whether they were defensive ends, guys that outweigh him by a significant amount. He was absolutely wrecking people on the ground.

"And then, as a receiver, there are players that had better numbers than he did, but in terms of yards per route run, he led the NFL. In terms of broken tackles, for wide receivers and tight ends, he led the NFL.

"He ended up (at the end of) the season with the highest grade we've ever given a tight end. And the PFF system spans the entirety of Rob Gronkowski's career. So Kittle this season, a higher grade than any single year we gave Gronkowski."

Monson wrote the following last week about Kittle in his article for PFF:

"He averaged 7.3 yards per catch after the ball arrived in his hands, the most among players with 50 or more receptions, and he broke 20 tackles, which led all tight ends and wideouts. He was also a run-blocking monster, caving defenders from safeties to defensive linemen to the floor and opening up holes for the San Francisco ground attack."

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