No. 9: Find a Complementary Tight End for George Kittle
Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle had a season for the ages, quite literally, as he broke the league record for single-season receiving yards by a tight end, previously held by the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski.
Aside from Kittle, however, the 49ers experienced negligible production from this position. No. 2 tight end Garrett Celek failed to carry over his “Celek Time” moniker from 2017, registering a mere five catches for 90 yards, albeit with two touchdowns.
Celek ended up being penalized more times (six) over the course of last year than he had receptions, and that mark also was tied with offensive guard Laken Tomlinson for the most of any Niners offensive player.
And who was San Francisco’s No. 3 tight end again?
The point here is opposing defenses hate offensive sets that involve two legitimate pass-catching tight ends. Kittle is already a matchup nightmare, which is great. But if one can envision another complementary piece to take pressure off Kittle, particularly when used appropriately in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the 49ers offense could make some massive strides this upcoming season.