No. 1: Can George Kittle continue his meteoric rise?
Each season, it seems as if George Kittle winds up impressing even more than expected. His rookie year, Kittle set a new record for tight ends drafted in Round 5 or later during the modern NFL era, recording 570 receiving yards. A year later, he set another record with 1,377 receiving yards — the most by a tight end in a single season.
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After his third year, he had the most receiving yards by any tight end in NFL history over his first three campaigns. Tack on a first-team All-Pro selection, his second Pro Bowl nod and receiving Pro Football Focus’ Dwight Stevenson award, given to PFF’s best player, there’s no telling where Kittle will end up plateauing out.
Now, the question is whether or not Kittle can actually improve.
Technically, there’s room in one area: touchdowns. Kittle has managed five touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. One of the interesting notes, however, stemmed from analysis from PFF’s Ian Hartitz’s work, which determined Kittle was the victim of three touchdowns being called back because of San Francisco penalties.
Erase those, and all other things being equal, Kittle would have had eight end-zone scores to his credit last year.
2020 could be more difficult for Kittle, as opposing teams will certainly game plan against him much more than they ever had the previous three seasons.
But based on what he’s done so far, the only question surrounding Kittle now is how high he’ll go.