This George Kittle stat shows how dominant 49ers tight end has been

This George Kittle stat shows how dominant 49ers tight end has been

Kyle Shanahan's three favorite words might be "yards after catch." The 49ers head coach has built an offense around YAC Kings with Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk. 

When it comes to tight ends, nobody is more dangerous with the ball in hands than Kittle. Stats don't lie, and this is an eye-opener. 

Kittle cemented himself as the NFL's best tight end last season. Though he broke the single-season receiving yards record by a tight end in 2018, Kittle was seen as an even better all-around player last season while missing two games to leg injuries.

Kittle wasn't just Pro Football Focus' highest-graded tight end, he was their highest-graded overall player. The 49ers' star tight end finished with a 95.0 grade, the best ever for a tight end in the PFF era (2006-19).

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When debating who the best tight end in the NFL is, only two names can be mentioned: Kittle and Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. Kittle was named First Team All-Pro last season while Kittle was Second Team for tight ends. The year before, the roles were reversed. 

Kittle has 173 receptions for 2,430 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 30 games over the last two seasons. Kelce has played two more games than Kittle and has 200 receptions for 2,565 receiving yards and 15 TDs. Jimmy Garoppolo certainly is a better quarterback than he gets credit for at times, but Kelce has a major advantage with Patrick Mahomes throwing him passes. 

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There's no doubt these two are the cream of the crop for tight ends in the NFL. As far as YAC goes, 517 yards is quite the advantage in two fewer games, especially with a lesser QB.

Kittle is due for a major payday by the 49ers in the near future, and his dominance in the open field is just another example of how important he is to Shanahan's offense.

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Watch 49ers' Javon Kinlaw replicate Aaron Donald knife training drill

Javon Kinlaw isn't afraid of a few deadly weapons.

The 49ers rookie showed off a seemingly dangerous drill on social media Friday in a video posted by defensive line trainer Cam Spence.

You're correct, those are in fact a pair of knives being wielded and sent in Kinlaw's direction as he bats them away. We've seen a similar drill from two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman calls out report on 2020 NFL season negotiations]

Kinlaw was the 49ers' first selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, going No. 14 overall. The South Carolina product plugged up the middle for the Gamecocks' defense, picking up six sacks and recovering two fumbles. He likely will have an immediate chance to contribute, as All-Pro DeForest Buckner's departure to Indianapolis leaves a void in the 49ers' defensive line.

The rookie, along with a few returning players looking to earn a contract, will be imperative to make sure that void is filled in order for the 49ers to replicate the dominance the team enjoyed in 2019.

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49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

49ers' Brandon Aiyuk sixth-best rookie receiver in Madden 21 ratings

The Brandon Aiyuk hype among 49ers fans has grown exponentially ever since he was drafted 25th overall in April.

The sixth receiver to come off the board in the 2020 NFL Draft, Aiyuk is expected to make an immediate impact with his elite breakaway speed, which he showcased numerous times during his two seasons at Arizona State.

But based on the just-released Madden 21 ratings, Aiyuk isn't even among the fastest wide receivers in his rookie class. In fact, he's just the sixth-best rookie wideout according to the video game's new ratings, checking in at 72 overall.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

The rookie receivers' overall ratings were almost identical to their draft positions, with the Denver Broncos' Jerry Jeudy and the Dallas Cowboys' CeeDee Lamb swapping places being the only alteration.

When it comes to speed, however, Aiyuk checks in as the 10th-fastest rookie wide receiver, behind a handful of players drafted well behind him.

[RELATED: George Kittle 'really proud' of team's offseason work, effort]

Aiyuk's 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine wasn't exactly elite (4.54 seconds), but during his senior season, he was tracked with a top in-game speed of 21.97 mph -- a mark bested by just three NFL players in 2019.

Game speed is different than track speed, and Aiyuk brings game speed in spades every time he takes the field.

Guessing those ratings might be adjusted once Aiyuk actually sees some on-field action in a 49ers uniform.