49ers

Why Rob Gronkowski believes 49ers' George Kittle is NFL's best tight end

Why Rob Gronkowski believes 49ers' George Kittle is NFL's best tight end

The best tight end in football is no longer Rob Gronkowski, since the former New England Patriots star announced his retirement in March. Since then, the consensus on who the best at the position is has turned to George Kittle of the 49ers.

And Gronk agrees.

"I like to go with George Kittle," Gronkowski said in an interview on The Lefkoe Show when asked for his opinion on who's the best tight end. "His game ... I just like his game. I said it before: He just kind of reminds me of myself. When he gets the ball, man, he just wants to keep going. Just doesn't care who's coming at him ... just wants to break through all the tackles."

The 30-year-old had to choose between Kittle and Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce. 

Gronk has spoken on the similarities between him and Kittle before during an interview with FOX Sports while he was doing some analyst work. The man crush is real. 

As far as the numbers are concerned, Kittle had a sensational season in 2018 with 1,377 receiving yards and five touchdowns during his Pro Bowl campaign.

This season, despite being sidelined in a couple of games with a knee and ankle injury, Kittle's numbers are still impressive, including an almost 20 percent increase in catching percentage (64.7 percent in 2018, 80.7 percent this season). He's become the team's go-to pass-catcher as a tight end.

[RELATED: Kittle impressed by Ross Dwelley's play in his place]

And their personalities also are comparable, as both are fun-loving and outgoing.

Given Gronk's NFL accolades, including four All-Pro selections and three Super Bowl championships, a compliment from him is almost priceless.

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

NFL offensive coach still not sold on 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo long term

Jimmy Garoppolo balled out in the 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the Saints last Sunday.

For the third time this season, Garoppolo threw four touchdown passes in a game.

In guiding the 49ers to an NFC-best 11-2 record, Garoppolo has completed 69.5 percent of his passes for 3,245 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns to just 11 interceptions this season.

While Garoppolo's not in the MVP conversation, he's putting up solid numbers as the 49ers continue to rack up wins. But there is one anonymous NFC offensive coach that still hasn't quite bought into Garoppolo.

"I don’t think he can do it consistently, but he did it today," the coach told The Athletic's Mike Sando after the 49ers beat the Saints. "[Drew] Brees moved down the field and scored. That is what you expect. I didn’t know that Garoppolo would be able to do it, but he did it."

Sando noted that in his annual Quarterback Tiers survey, the coach in question had Garoppolo on the second tier in 2017. Last season, after Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, the coach moved Garoppolo down to the third tier of NFL quarterbacks.

Whether or not Garoppolo is an elite quarterback is up for debate. NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms feels the 49ers quarterback is "really good," but doesn't consider him elite. But what is for certain is that Garoppolo is not a "third tier" quarterback. He doesn't have the gaudy numbers like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson or Lamar Jackson, but Garoppolo has a 19-4 career record as a starter in the NFL. That can't be ignored.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

Garoppolo will have another chance to impress the offensive coach Sunday when the 49ers host the Falcons at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

NFL rumors: Terrell Suggs, waived by Cardinals, wants to rejoin Ravens

When the Arizona Cardinals waived veteran linebacker Terrell Suggs on Friday, 49ers fans instantly wondered if the top team in the NFC would try to claim T-Sizzle.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco believes Suggs would be a fit for the 49ers due to injuries to Ronald Blair, Damontre Moore and Dee Ford.

But you can lower your expectations, 49ers fans.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Saturday, citing league sources, that Suggs would "strongly consider not reporting if a team other than the Baltimore Ravens claims him."

Suggs spent the first 16 years of his NFL career in Baltimore, so it's understandable that the Ravens are the only team he wants to play for.

While it appears Suggs won't be donning a 49ers' uniform, it would still make sense for the 49ers to put in a waiver claim on the 37-year-old.

Why?

Assuming Suggs gets through the 30 teams ahead of the 49ers in the waiver order, the 49ers would be wise to try to block the linebacker from going to the Ravens.

After all, the 49ers and Ravens could meet up in Super Bowl LIV, and the last thing San Francisco wants to see is T-Sizzle coming after Jimmy Garoppolo.

[RELATED: Five 49ers to watch vs. Falcons]

And you never know. Maybe coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch can convince Suggs to play for the 49ers.

Suggs' fate will be decided Monday when teams can put in a waiver claim on him. No matter what happens, the 49ers absolutely should claim him.