San Francisco's stud tight end rounds out the five members of the 49ers to land on the NFL's Top 100 Players of 2020. For the 10th consecutive year, current NFL players have voted to determine the league's Top 100 players. George Kittle cracked the Top 10, landing at No. 7 on the countdown.
Making a jump from last year's No. 29, Kittle started all 14 games in which he appeared and led the team in targets (107), receptions (85), yards (1,053) and tied with Kendrick Bourne for a team-high five touchdowns. The former fifth-round pick topped 1,000 receiving yards for the second-straight season with fewer targets in 2019 and became the first tight end in franchise history to register back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons (1,377 receiving yards in 2018). Earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors, Kittle also set the NFL record for the most receiving yards by a tight end in their first three NFL seasons (2,945 receiving yards).
The tight end dropped just two of his 91 catchable targets all season, according to Pro Football Focus, earning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a passer rating of 114.6 when throwing the tight end's direction. The football analytics site named Kittle the league's best player in 2019, as an elite pass catcher and a premier blocker as well.
Of note, Kittle broke more tackles (45) for more yards after the catch (1,748) than any other tight end since entering the league in 2017. Also, his average of 3.12 yards per route run in 2019 is the best mark ever recorded by a tight end who saw at least 50 targets over a single season, per PFF.
Kittle's spot at No. 7 makes him the highest-ranked tight end in the history of the Top 100. He is also the highest-ranked member of the 49ers on the NFL's Top 100 since former edge rusher Aldon Smith ranked seventh in 2013. The tight end adds to Fred Warner (No. 70), Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 43), Richard Sherman (No. 28) and rookie defender Nick Bosa (No. 17) as the five 49ers who landed on the NFL's list of Top 100 Players of 2020.