Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ George Kittle earns PFF’s highest 3-year grade among non-QBs from the 2017 draft

May 11, 2020 at 12:44 PM--

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle awaits a contract extension. He is entering the final year of his rookie deal, and the team sounds confident it will lock up the talented 26-year-old for the foreseeable future.

It's hard to believe that Kittle fell to the fifth-round in the 2017 draft, given everything he has accomplished in just three NFL seasons. In 2018, the fan-favorite set a new NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377 yards. He followed that up with another 1,000-plus-yard receiving season last year.

Kittle's 2,945 total receiving yards are the most by a tight end during the player's first three seasons, surpassing the 2,774-yard mark set by Mike Ditka.

Pro Football Focus gave Kittle the highest three-year grade by a non-quarterback from the 2017 draft (h/t to Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area). Only Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has graded higher during that same timeframe.

Yes, the list above is only for offensive players, but below is the same list for defense. That puts Kittle at No. 2 when it comes to three-year grades on players from that draft class.

Kittle was Pro Football Focus' highest-graded offensive player last season (95.0 in the regular season; 94.4 including playoffs). That ties for the highest grade by any player during the Pro Football Focus era (OT Jonathan Ogden - 95.0 in 2007; DL Aaron Donald - 95.0 in 2018).

"George is certainly a priority (to sign to an extension)," general manager John Lynch recently told NBC Sports Bay Area. "I don't anticipate – you never say never – but George is going to be Niner. We think too highly of him. I think he loves the (environment).

"We got to find the right deal, and we'll continue working towards that. We're not going to put any timetable on that. But George is certainly is a priority for us. We love everything about him. We love everything he brings to the Niners."

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