The 49ers’ George Kittle is No. 1 among the top tight ends in the NFL entering 2020? But who’d be the remaining cast of the top five?
There shouldn’t be too big an argument who sits atop the list of top tight ends in the NFL heading into 2020.
For those disagreeing with the idea it’s San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, you’re either a Kansas City Chiefs fan or just so happen to hate the Niners. And that’s OK. Just know the NFL 100 list (Kittle was ranked No. 7 while Kelce was No. 18), Pro Football Focus and a number of other top analysts disagree with you.
In the wake of both Kittle and Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce receiving their market-resetting contract extensions on Thursday, however, Niner Noise thought it would be fun breaking down our own list of who the top tight ends in the league are right now. No doubt, both Kittle and Kelce sit atop the list. And you could make some noise who else belongs below them, although the order can shift a little bit.
A number of other teams boast top tight ends ready to be included on a top-five list. There are some who are on similar trajectories to the ones both Kittle and Kelce have displayed, the former also young while the latter being a well-established veteran.
To set the evaluation criteria, Niner Noise will look at a number of different factors: PFF grades, Football Outsiders’ DVOA metrics, traditional stats and the general impact each player provides his team.
Those metrics alone will help establish Kittle as the No. 1 tight end, doing so easily. But the rest could be up for some fun debate.
Let’s start at the top and work our way down, getting Kittle out of the way first.