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PFF lists ‘best all-around tight end’ George Kittle as 49ers’ best value draft pick since 2006

Jun 25, 2021 at 6:26 AM--

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Maybe a case could be made for Fred Warner being the San Francisco 49ers' best value draft pick in recent years. However, the All-Pro linebacker was a third-round selection in 2018. Go back one more year, and you'll find tight end George Kittle being made a fifth-round draft pick, which is an unbelievable value. Kittle has since turned into a two-time Pro Bowl selection and a first-team All-Pro.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus listed the best value draft picks for all 32 NFL teams since 2006. These are the "proverbial diamond in the rough" players who exceeded the expectations of a late-round selection and turned into a superstar.

RELATED 49ers TE George Kittle lands at No. 9 on PFF's 50 best players ranking

"For every Mitchell Trubisky, Josh Rosen, and Johnny Manziel, there's a Tyreek Hill or a George Kittle, players who enter the league as relative unknowns but go on to far exceed their draft pedigree and cement themselves as some of the league's best," wrote Renner.

Kittle was just revealed to be the No. 9 ranked player on Pro Football Focus' list of the 50 best players in the NFL right now. That makes him the highest-graded of four 49ers players on the list and the second-best tight end within the ranking. However, Renner feels that Kittle is probably second to no one when it comes to doing everything on the field.

"All Kittle has done after being taken in the fifth round in 2014 is become the best all-around tight end in the NFL," wrote Renner. "His 95.0 overall grade in 2019 is the highest we've ever seen at the tight end position."

Kittle, 27, was limited to just eight games last season due to injuries but still hauled in 48 passes for 634 yards with two touchdowns. He is entering his fifth NFL season and isn't just considered a reliable pass catcher. He is a phenomenal blocker, too.

"PFF has captured the entirety of Rob Gronkowski's Hall of Fame career," wrote Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus, "but Kittle bettered every single season of Gronk's storied career on a play-by-play basis last year, according to that grading. He is one of the most dynamic receivers in the game, but like Gronk, he can also be an impact player as a run-blocker, which differentiates him from most tight ends in the league."


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