Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

George Kittle boosts 49ers to the top of Pro Football Focus’ tight end rankings

Jul 14, 2020 at 6:33 AM--

Pro Football Focus ranked the NFL's top tight end groups, and the San Francisco 49ers stole the top spot on the list. Of course, it doesn't hurt to have the best tight end in the league — George Kittle — to help boost your rankings.

"George Kittle has become the new standard for multi-faceted, all-around tight ends," wrote Steve Palazzolo. "He's finished with the top grade in the league in each of the last two seasons and last year posted a 94.4 mark, earning the coveted PFF Dwight Stephenson Award as the best player in the NFL regardless of position."

Kittle has racked up over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his last two seasons, including a 1,377-yard campaign in 2018 that set a new record for single-season receiving yards by a tight end.

The first-team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection hauled in 85 passes for 1,053 yards with five touchdowns last season while showing he can be San Francisco's best pass-catcher and one of its best run blockers. In fact, his run-blocking grade of 78.2 led all 49ers players in 2019.

"Kittle has burst, quickness and an after-the-catch mean streak as a receiver, and he has led tight ends in yards after the catch in each of the last two seasons," noted Palazzolo. "Far from just a weapon in the receiving game, Kittle also brings it as a run-blocker, where he recorded a top-six run-blocking grade in both 2018 and 2019."

Palazzolo notes backup Ross Dwelley before telling readers to keep an eye on rookie sixth-rounder Charlie Woerner, who could earn run-game snaps too.

"Woerner graded at an impressive 82.9 in the run game last season at Georgia while showing off the ability to effectively block on the move, which is a must for tight ends in San Francisco's offense," added Palazzolo.

Kittle is the big reason why the 49ers' tight end group came in at No. 1, and Palazzolo feels it could use some more depth to take the pressure off the All-Pro.

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