1. George Kittle
George Kittle joined the Iowa football team as a lightly recruited wide receiver/linebacker/tight end prospect in the class of 2012. Unfortunately, we never got to see Kittle really turn it on with the Hawkeyes as he dealt with injuries throughout his time with the team.
Despite this, he still managed to haul in 48 catches for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns in 25 games. Following his Iowa football career, Kittle tore it up in NFL Draft testing drills posting a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, jump 35 inches in the vertical and hitting a 132-inch broad jump.
Although there was limited production, San Francisco took a chance and Kittle and the rest is history.
He quickly emerged as the team’s number one tight end as a rookie competing with Garrett Celek, Vance McDonald, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell, and Cole Hikutini. As a rookie, he had a quietly good season, catching 43 balls for 515 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his sophomore year is when he really broke out.
Last season he had a record-breaking performance for a tight end catching 88 balls for 1,377 yards (a new NFL record by a tight end) and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and Second-Team All-Pro honors.
I placed Kittle as my number one player because since joining the NFL he’s proved he is one of the best tight ends in the league (if not the best). He’s already set three NFL records and three franchise records in just two seasons and heading into his third year in the NFL, the sky is the limit for this former Iowa football player.