No. 1 49ers Target for Jimmy Garoppolo: George Kittle
There isn’t any concrete reason to assume the No. 1 player on this list, tight end George Kittle, would do anything but lead San Francisco in receptions, targets and receiving yards in 2020.
After all, Kittle was both for the Niners over the course of 2019 and last year.
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Kittle’s prowess for yards after the catch needs little introduction, and the fact Jimmy Garoppolo trusted him with 107 targets — the only 49ers player to get into triple digits here — last season is another indicator both Jimmy G and Kyle Shanahan will want the two-time Pro Bowler to be the primary beneficiary of Garoppolo’s passing game.
For the math whizzes out there, that’s 22.5 percent of all of Jimmy G’s pass attempts.
It’s possible some of the 49ers’ other additions on offense, namely Brandon Aiyuk and fellow tight end Jordan Reed, could ultimately cut into Kittle’s top production. After all, one of the ways to make Shanahan’s offense more dynamic will be taking pressure off Kittle and distributing the numbers to some other threats, thereby opening up what Garoppolo and the Niners offense can do through the air.
That said, Kittle is still going to serve as San Francisco’s top playmaker and chief weapon on offense.
Playmakers make plays, and there’s no doubting Garoppolo will want to fuel that trend over the course of the upcoming season.