49ers

Flair likens Kittle to Brady on list of NFL draft steals

49ers

Tom Brady is, among other things, the greatest NFL draft steal in history.

As you might know, the New England Patriots selected Brady with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Six Super Bowl rings later, Brady has become arguably the greatest quarterback in history and he's still playing at age 43.

49ers tight end George Kittle still has a ways to go to catch Brady in terms of rings and all-time status in NFL history. However, another legend believes Kittle is destined to join Brady on the list of greatest NFL draft steals.

"He's an incredible athlete. I can't believe he went in the fifth round," legendary wrestler Ric Flair told Kittle on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday. "You're going to be like Brady. They are going to look back and say, 'Boy, we screwed that up.'"

It's hard to argue with The Nature Boy on that one.

The 49ers drafted Kittle in the fifth round out of Iowa in 2017, and he quickly blossomed into the NFL's top tight end. Kittle set the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end in 2018 with 1,377 and followed that up by catching 85 passes for 1,053 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.

Kittle wasn't seen as a top prospect coming out of Iowa, but the 49ers had a third-round grade on him, believing he would fit in well in coach Kyle Shanahan's offense.

After three seasons in the NFL, Kittle already appears to be one of the top draft steals in NFL history. He recently signed a record-breaking five-year, $75 million contract to become the NFL's highest-paid tight end.

 
RELATED: Brady's connections to Montana, Jimmy G made him 49ers villain

Now receiving a paycheck that is equal to his talent and contributions to the 49ers, Kittle enters the 2020 NFL season laser-focused on the task at hand.

After the 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs in February, microphones picked up Kittle vowing to return to the Super Bowl. Kittle and the 49ers just might run into Brady, who joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, along the way.