It didn't take long for Nick Bosa to impress George Kittle. From the moment Kittle shared the field with Bosa, the 49ers' star tight end knew his newest teammate was a special player.
Kittle has been so dazzled by Bosa early in his NFL career that he believes there's only player better than the second-year edge rusher in the league right now.
"Bosa, on the other hand, is the second-best football player in the NFL," Kittle said on the latest episode of "Candlestick Chronicles." "Being able to go against that every day is pretty insane."
Bosa, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, made an immediate impact for the 49ers last season. He recorded three tackles, one sack and three QB hits in his pro debut against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And he just got better after that. Bosa went on to record nine sacks, 25 QB hits, 16 tackles for loss and even intercepted a pass on his way to winning the NFL Rookie of the Year.
That begs the question, who's the best player in the league right now, according to Kittle?
"Aaron Donald," Kittle said without hesitation. "Until proven otherwise. That dude's been at the top of his game since he's been in the league. It's pretty impressive."
Donald, who has won three Defensive Player of the Year awards through his first six seasons, actually was contained pretty well in the 49ers' Week 6 24-16 win over the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers' offensive line held Donald to two tackles and one QB hit. Still, it's hard to argue with Kittle's take on the defensive tackle.
Kittle clearly is happy the 49ers drafted Bosa, but for some slightly selfish reasons as well. Bosa went one pick after the Arizona Cardinals were on the clock and Kittle would have seen a lot of Bosa for years to come in the NFC West if the Cardinals picked the Ohio State product instead of quarterback Kyler Murray.
Luckily for Kittle, Bosa should be donning the red and gold for a long time.
"I am very happy that the Cardinals didn't draft him," Kittle said. "I am very, very happy. That would have been brutal to have to play him twice a year for the rest of my career."
Kittle and the rest of the 49ers will be without Bosa for the rest of the 2020 season after he tore his ACL in just the second game of the year, but Kittle and the rest of his teammates have big expectations for the young star. And rightfully so.