No. 2: George Kittle, the heartbeat of the 49ers offense
It is safe to say tight end George Kittle is one of the most talented players in the league, landing at No. 7 on the 2020 NFL 100 list.
Kittle’s importance and his role in the 49ers offense are crucial to the team’s success. He can block exceptionally well and catch the ball and run upfield. Additionally, Kittle keeps the energy alive and the offense runs through him. Those are elements not necessarily showing up on the stat sheet, although it was painfully obvious the difference in San Francisco’s offense last season when Kittle was on the field in comparison to when he wasn’t. Kittle was hurt for two games last season, suffering both ribs and ankle injuries, and the Niners offense changed dramatically, losing both a charismatic leader and a primary go-to threat.
Simply put, losing Kittle would be disastrous for Kyle Shanahan and Co. for more ways than one.