Aside from being recognized as one of the top tight ends in the league, George Kittle is known for his lively personality and sprightly demeanor. While at home in Nashville, Tenn., during what typically would be the start of the San Francisco 49ers offseason program, the tight end participated in an AMA (ask me anything) session with Bleacher Report. Kittle answered several engaging fan-submitted questions ranging from ideal WWE Steel Cage matches to his abundance of Jimmy Garoppolo memorabilia. He also divulged a list of his Top 5 tight ends of all time that featured a Hall of Famer and a recent rival:
Dallas Clark, Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Travis Kelce.
Kittle and Kelce are widely regarded as two of the top tight ends in the NFL. Since entering the league in 2013, Kelce has amassed 507 receptions for 6,465 yards and 37 touchdowns. He's surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in each of his last four seasons while being named to five Pro Bowls and two All-Pro honors.
"Gotta put Kelce up there just because four 1,000-yard seasons in a row is just incredible. Nobody's done it before," Kittle responded. "Kelce has been someone I've looked up to since college. Modeling my game after him, being able to meet him and talk to him - just enjoy the time. He's an amazing football player, that's why he was on the All-Decade team. It's fun to have a relationship with a guy like that."
Meanwhile, Kittle combined for 216 catches for 2,945 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons in the NFL. Kittle has already earned two Pro Bowl nods as well as his first, first-team All-Pro honor following a 2019 campaign featuring his first back-to-back four digit season. Still at the beginning of his career, Kittle's trajectory could place him among some of the best to ever do it.
(Gronkowski debuted on Fox Sports as an analyst this past season and drew weighty parallels to Kittle and his own remarkable NFL career.)
Jimmy Graham and Zach Ertz are two additional players who add to Kittle's current and future Hall-of-Fame tight ends that he deems instrumental in his timely success.
"Growing up I always watched Dallas Clark (and) Tony Gonzalez," Kittle answered. "When I got to college, I watched a lot of Gronk, Kelce (and) Ertz. Those are some of my favorites. I get every TE from the league, top-10 guys. Run game, pass game. Try to pull stuff from guys here and there. Kelce runs fantastic routes in man-to-man. Ertz is always incredible at the top of his routes, catching the ball. Why he set a record on it. It's always 'pull a little from these guys, those guys.' (I try) to watch Gronk, but he's like three inches taller than me, so it doesn't really apply LOL."
Of all of the great tight ends who shaped Kittle's career, which would he say is the GOAT (greatest of all time)?
"Dallas Clark, Gronk and Tony G. are my three favorites," he added.
In additional to his Mount Rushmore of tight ends, Kittle answered questions ranging from his offseason workouts, the toughest safeties he's faced, the best trash talkers and the most hostile environment he's played in to date (spoiler alert, it's Seattle and New Orleans). To read more of Kittle's responses, click here.