George Kittle often refers to one player as the very best in the NFL, and he happens to also reside in the NFC West. It isn't Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray, or any quarterback for that matter.
No, Kittle believes Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald is the very best overall player in all of football. Pro Football Focus agrees, but differs with Kittle's opinion of who is second-best. Kittle gives his teammate, Nick Bosa, that title. PFF, however, believes Kittle himself has been the second-best player behind Donald the last two seasons.
The 49ers' star tight end was given the Stephenson Award in January 2020 as the highest-graded player for the 2019 season. His 95.0 overall grade was the best ever for a tight end in the PFF era (2006-19).
Kittle played just eight games last season due to injury. But when he was on the field, he was great again. PFF gave him an 84.9 overall grade in his injury-shortened season.
The fourth-year pro had 48 receptions for 634 yards and two touchdowns. He only dropped two passes, averaged 79.3 receiving yards per game and continued to be one of the best blocking tight ends in the league as well.
There's no denying the injury bug was cruel to the 49ers in 2020, and the biggest blow might have been to Kittle missing a large chunk of games. If he's healthy next season, the 49ers once again will have one of the very best overall players in football on the field every week.