3 reasons why George Kittle is ranked No. 1 tight end in 2021

Tight end George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
Tight end George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: George Kittle is still best all-around tight end

Travis Kelce and Darren Waller might threaten George Kittle’s attempts for most yards or touchdowns at the position this season.

But few would even fathom ranking Kelce and Waller as big of a complete package as Kittle.

Kittle’s all-around game is why he was named the NFL’s first-team All-Pro at the position in 2019 despite Kelce having more yards that year (1,229 to Kittle’s 1,053). And if there was one area that season that separated Kittle from Kelce, it was in the blocking game.

More from George Kittle

Just take a look at the Pro Football Focus metrics:

  • George Kittle run-blocking grade: 79.8
  • Travis Kelce run-blocking grade: 62.2

Kelce actually improved his run-blocking grade last season, while Kittle’s eight games provided a drop.

But in terms of the all-around body of work, Kittle has regularly been one of the NFL’s best blocking tight ends while also being a prolific offensive weapon. Kelce has fallen into the latter category effectively his entire career, but he hasn’t quite established himself as an elite blocker.

Look, this is all conjecture and some fan bias meshed together to suggest Kittle, not Kelce, will be everyone’s choice for the No. 1 tight end in 2021. Chalk up another first-team All-Pro for Kittle or whatever.

He’s tops in our book, the one that matters, right?

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