No. 6: 49ers Tight End George Kittle
This is the part of this list where things mostly devolve into a list of the team’s best players. However, as a team’s best players are also often its most important, there isn’t anything we can do about that.
And no one will argue tight end George Kittle isn’t one of the Niners’ best players. Kittle is arguably the best tight end in the NFL. Unlike some of the other splashy names in the tight end market, Kittle is more than just an oversized receiver, he is a legitimate pass blocker as well.
In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, which prioritizes running the ball in every way imaginable, Kittle’s ability and willingness to block in the run game are invaluable.
But don’t let that diminish his importance as a receiving threat as well.
When healthy, Kittle is easily the Niners’ second-best pass-catching option after star receiver Deebo Samuel and is a monster in yards after the catch as well.
Kittle’s ability to be used all across the formation of the offense whether as a pass-catcher, blocker, or even ball carrier, is what makes him so important to this offense. Since he can do it all, he allows Shanahan to disguise what he is doing, and when defenses can’t anticipate Shanahan’s offense, the tight end’s potential is limitless.