Former Iowa football tight end George Kittle had a breakout season with the San Fransisco 49ers last season. Can he repeat that in 2019?
The Iowa football team has had a recent string of solid tight ends come through the program. George Kittle was one of them. Although he never put up eye-popping numbers primarily due to injuries and the offensive style, he was still productive as a receiver.
In his senior season, Kittle hauled in 22 catches for 314 yards and 4 touchdowns in just 9 games. Kittle also helped paved the way for several running backs and is known for his run blocking. That was good enough for the San Francisco 49ers to take a chance on him in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
His first season in Kyle Shanahan‘s offense produced decent results. He played in 15 games (7 starts) and caught 43 balls for 515 yards and 2 touchdowns. He broke out in a huge way last season catching 88 balls for 1,377 yards, which not only lead all tight ends in the NFL but was good for 8th best in terms of receiving yards.
Kittle was selected to the Pro Bowl and named to the NFL second-team last year. Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Kittle figures to be a primary target for Jimmy Garoppolo as he returns from his ACL injury. Now that Patriot tight end Rob Gronkowski has retired, the argument could be made that Kittle is now the best tight end in the NFL.
He will without a doubt be the first tight end selected in most fantasy leagues. Kittle 4.52 speed makes him some dangerous in open space and a nightmare matchup for opposing safeties and linebackers
Although he may not produce quite the same in 2019, he should still surpass the 1,000-yard mark assuming he stays healthy. I have him projected for 82 receptions, 1,033 yard and 6 touchdowns for the 49ers in 2019.