Two 49ers were named Tuesday to the Pro Football Writers of America’s All-NFC Team.
One -- tight end George Kittle -- was no surprise.
The other was rookie kick returner Richie James, who accounted for the only kickoff return for a touchdown from any player in the NFC this season. James was a seventh-round draft pick from Middle Tennessee.
He also finished third in kick-return yards among NFC players with 580. Marvin Hall (Atlanta) led the conference with 616 yards, and Corey Coleman (New York Giants) had 598 yards.
James’ 25.2 average on 23 returns ranked behind Coleman’s 26.0 average and ahead of Hall’s 23.7 mark.
But James was one of just five players in the NFL to have a kick return for a touchdown this season. His 97-yard return was a key play in the 49ers’ 26-23 upset of the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.
Fellow 49ers rookie D.J. Reed also had some success as a kick returner. He averaged 30.2 yards on 11 kickoff returns with a long of 90 yards.
Andre Roberts of the New York Jets was the All-NFL kick returner. He led the league with 1,174 yards on kick returns with a 29.4 average and one touchdown.
Kittle, who was named a second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press earlier this month, had 1,377 receiving yards this season -- the most from a tight end in NFL history. Kittle had 88 receptions and five touchdowns.
Travis Kelce was chosen to the All-NFL Team ahead of Kittle. Kelce helped the Kansas City Chiefs earn home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs with a 12-4 record. He caught 103 passes for 1,336 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The PFWA also announced its All-Rookie Team, and 49ers offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey was selected for one of the tackle spots, along with Indianapolis' Braden Smith.