Top NFL Draft prospect is already being called 'the next George Kittle'

As long as he doesn't go to a Niners rival in the 2024 NFL Draft, fans will be fine if Brock Bowers ends up having a George Kittle-like career.
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers (19)
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers (19) / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers is already being labeled as an NFL Draft prospect in the mold of the 49ers' own, George Kittle.

The San Francisco 49ers already boast the best overall tight end in the league, two-time first-team All-Pro George Kittle.

Since the NFL is a copycat league, it makes perfect sense for other squads to try and replicate the Niners' success they've enjoyed with Kittle since he broke into the league as a fifth-round draft pick way back in 2017.

There have been plenty of top tight ends drafted since that point, but few have been true Kittle-like "clones," simply because there are so few who are carbon copies.

However, the 2024 NFL Draft is going to produce a player who is arguably the closest prospect to Kittle's own prowess now.

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers.

Brock Bowers, the next George Kittle?

Bowers, 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, isn't quite the same size as Kittle but offers many of the latter's best traits.

Both players are solid route-runners, and both have the ability to generate plenty of yards after the catch.

However, one difference that'll lead to Bowers being a top prospect and that led to Kittle falling into Round 5 is the overall collegiate production. While Kittle wasn't a stats pass-catcher at Iowa, Bowers' numbers over his three years with the Bulldogs were exemplary:


























Those numbers assuredly help push Bowers well out of the reach of the Niners, who may be seeking a long-term replacement for Kittle in the near future anyway but aren't selecting in this year's draft until almost the very end of Round 1, No. 31 overall.

Even so, Bowers will likely end up being a prospect San Francisco fans will watch, especially if he's being viewed as the "next Kittle."

It's a comparison Pro Football Focus' Dalton Wasserman couldn't help but make:

"Brock Bowers is arguably the best tight end in college football history. Since 2014, Bowers ranks second among FBS tight ends in yards after the catch and first in yards after contact.

49ers tight end George Kittle is slightly bigger than Bowers but also makes explosive plays after the catch. Kittle ranks third in PFF history in receiving grade and fifth in yards after the catch despite being targeted just 664 times so far in his career. He ranks second behind Jonnu Smith in yards after the catch per reception.

Bowers’ production at Georgia was off the charts, in addition to his post-catch ability. He also gained more than 1,000 yards in his career when lined up in the slot, something elite NFL tight ends are becoming more accustomed to. He could potentially walk into the league as a top-eight player at the position."

Of course, there are plenty of X-factors at play here. So much of Bowers' pending success hinges upon where he lands and the context that surrounds him.

Case in point, back in the 2021 draft, the Atlanta Falcons grabbed former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts at No. 4 overall. Pitts enjoyed a 1,000-yard season his rookie year, which resulted in a Pro Bowl. But, a Falcons team that had quarterbacking questions and was a run-first, run-often squad under then head coach Arthur Smith ultimately translated into Pitts not quite being the game-changer many pegged him to be.

Pitts' career is still very much young, though, and Smith is gone after a floundering 2023 season.

Bowers, meanwhile, should be as entertaining a player as Kittle, at least on the field and as long as he winds up with a team that'll put him to the right kind of use.

If only Bowers had his very own Kittle-like persona, then the clone comparison would be complete.

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