Through the first four weeks of the 2019 regular season, 49ers tight end George Kittle has been the best player in the NFL. Well, at least according to Pro Football Focus.
Kittle's 92.7 PFF grade is the highest in the NFL, regardless of position.
While Kittle's numbers might be down from his historic season last year, his production is not. The 25-year-old has 17 receptions for 165 yards for the 3-0 49ers, but has yet to score a touchdown. He leads San Francisco in receptions (17), targets (21) and yards receiving (165).
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo keeps targeting Kittle, and the sure-handed tight end nearly is hauling in everything his QB throws. Kittle has an 81 percent catch rate, up from 64.7 percent last season. And even though he's averaging just 55 receiving yards per game -- down from 86.1 in 2018 -- his 5.7 receptions per game slightly are higher than his 5.5 a season ago.
What can't be seen in the stats, however, is where Kittle really impacts the 49ers' offense. Despite him breaking the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end last season with 1,377, Kittle has become an elite blocker.
— Fourth and Nine (@fourth_nine) September 29, 2019
Iowa TEs are built different. George Kittle serving pancakes from the field to the bench. pic.twitter.com/SLItpCMDS7— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) September 22, 2019
Taken by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Kittle quickly has become a star and one of the best all-around players in the league. He made his first Pro Bowl last season, and he should receive plenty more accolades down the road.
Kittle and the rest of the 49ers will look to stay undefeated Monday night when they host the Cleveland Browns at Levi's Stadium.