George Kittle wears No. 87 for the 49ers, but now he's No. 29 in the NFL.
San Francisco's tight end was ranked as the 29th-best player in the league as part of the NFL Network's 2019 Top 100 rollout, which is voted on by the players themselves.
Kittle's lofty ranking was the product of an incredibly productive season, in which he broke the NFL single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,377).
210 of those yards came in a Week 13 win over Broncos. "It was just impossible to stop him," said Denver sack artist Von Miller.
Another 82 yards came on a single catch against the Chargers in a Week 4, which Kittle described as "really fun."
"He shocked me with his speed. I didn't know he was that fast," said Chargers Pro Bowl safety Derwin James. "85 yards tells you how fast a guy really is."
As for his favorite catch of Kittle's from last season, 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was all about the style points.
"Probably his one-handed grab [against the Raiders] on Thursday Night Football," said Buckner. "'Dude, that catch was insane!' And he was like, 'Bro, my eyes were closed.'"
Speaking of insane, you couldn't come up with a better term to describe the sheer ridiculousness that Buckner seems all but certain to be left off the NFL's Top 100 list entirely. This after registering 12 sacks and 53 quarterback pressures last season.
The Top 20 has still yet to be revealed. Players that have yet to be listed include: Patrick Mahomes, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ezekiel Elliot, Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Michael Thomas, Tyreke Hill, Aaron Donald, J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Khalil Mack and Bobby Wagner.
It's incredibly difficult to envision a scenario in which any of those 20 players are not regarded among the top 100 in the league by their peers. Of course, you could say the same thing about Buckner. But, given his lower profile relative to the others mentioned, it seems likely he's going to be left out.
100 players better than Buckner? Yeah right. You can't name 40, because they don't exist.