49ers roster: Why 2022 is so vital to All-Pro tight end George Kittle

George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (85) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Why George Kittle re-emerges as 49ers’ top weapon in 2022

Young quarterbacks cutting their teeth at the pro level love tight ends, and they love elite-level tight ends even more.

But a budding relationship between Trey Lance and George Kittle doesn’t have to stop there. All one has to do is think how frequently Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continuously finds his All-Pro tight end, Travis Kelce, despite the two playing together regularly since 2018.

Turning 29 years old this season, Kittle is no longer the up-and-coming youthful star fans witnessed in 2018. However, that campaign is important because Kittle showed he was able to produce with mostly lackluster-level quarterbacks under center in the wake of Jimmy Garoppolo’s ACL tear.

As San Francisco fans easily recall, Kittle set the single-season receiving record for tight ends with 1,377 yards, mainly catching passes from backup QBs such as Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard.

This suggests Kittle, who failed to crest 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive season, shouldn’t have any trouble adjusting to Lance under center.

Especially with the likelihood of the 49ers looking to take some of the pressure off Deebo Samuel from having to do everything on the field over the course of the season.