As the game between the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins kicks off this Sunday afternoon, it will be the first time George Kittle and former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, will be playing on the same field at the same time.

When the 49ers selected tight end Vernon Davis as the 6th overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, fans and coaches alike were expecting him to be a premiere passing game weapon, not just among tight ends, but among all players. His measurables coming out of college had never been seen before from the tight end position. Davis posted a 4.39 40-yard dash, 42-inch vertical leap and recorded 33 reps in the bench press (225 lbs). In the past 14 years his combined results rank 1st, 3rd and 4th, respectively, among all tight end prospects, making him a coveted first-round prospect.

However, his first 2 years in the league did not live up to those expectations. After getting infamously kicked off the field by Mike Singletary in 2008, Davis had an emergence. From 2009-2013, he amassed over 4,000 yards receiving and 44 touchdowns, leading the team in both during that span. He became a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and helped lead the 49ers to back-to-back-to-back NFC championship game appearances and one Super Bowl appearance. However, even with all his success, Davis was never widely considered the premiere tight end in the league. While impressive, his performances still didn't quite match the expectations of a player who could so easily dominate games with his mix of size, strength and speed. Too often, Davis would run sloppy routes, drop easy passes, or try and finesse around defenders he easily overmatched in size. The hard-running style that coaches and fans fell in love with from his college highlights never appeared.

George Kittle, however, was not a top draft prospect coming out of Iowa. He had fewer catches in his entire 4-year tenure at Iowa than Vernon Davis did his senior year at Maryland. His measurables were good—not great—in most areas, and was thought to be too small to be a true tight end and too big to be a true receiver. So, with the 146th overall pick John Lynch selected George Kittle in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL draft.

In only 2 years George Kittle has established himself as one of the league's premiere, if not the premiere tight end in the league. Setting an NFL-record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end and surpassing Vernon Davis's best season by 412 yards. His hard-running style, great route running and reliable hands have made him one of the best receiving tight ends. He has also made a name for himself with his hard-finishing run-blocking. Being highlighted several times by NFL analyst Brian Baldinger.

George Kittle's mix of speed, strength, and determination have made him a true threat in the pass and run games with plays where it seems to take 3, 4 or 5 defenders to bring him down are an almost weekly occurrence.

In all ways, George Kittle is the tight end 49ers fans thought Vernon Davis would be.