Kittle with the 49ers in 2017
|No. 85 – San Francisco 49ers|
|Born:||October 9, 1993|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school:||Norman (Norman, Oklahoma)|
|NFL Draft:||2017 / Round: 5 / Pick: 146|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 6, 2019|
|Player stats at PFR|
George Krieger Kittle (born October 9, 1993) is an American football tight end for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Kittle was born in Madison, Wisconsin and moved to Iowa at a young age. He attended Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, Cedar Falls High School in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma. He committed to the University of Iowa to play college football. His father, Bruce Kittle, also played at Iowa and is a former college football coach.
Kittle played at Iowa from 2013 to 2016 under head coach Kirk Ferentz. As a freshman, Kittle had a limited role behind senior C. J. Fiedorowicz, junior Ray Hamilton, and sophomore Jake Duzey. He had his first collegiate reception, which went for 47 yards, against the Missouri State Bears. Overall, he caught three passes for 108 yards. Iowa's tight end unit remained crowded for Kittle in the 2014 season. Along with the return of Hamilton and Duzey, junior Henry Krieger-Coble added to the depth. Kittle had a lone reception for 25 yards against Maryland as his only catch of the season. Kittle's role expanded in the 2015 season. On September 26, 2015, against North Texas, he scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 43-yard reception from quarterback C. J. Beathard. Overall, Kittle had 20 receptions for 290 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns in the 2015 season. His six receiving touchdowns ranked sixth in the Big Ten Conference. As a senior in the 2016 season, Kittle headlined a tight end unit that contained junior Peter Pekar and freshman Noah Fant. He had his best statistical game against North Dakota State with five receptions for 110 receiving yards. In his senior season, he had 22 receptions for 314 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns. During his collegiate career, Kittle had 48 receptions for 737 yards and 10 touchdowns.
As a top tight end prospect, Kittle was one of 19 collegiate tight ends to receive an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. He completed the majority of drills, but opted to skip the short shuttle and three-cone drill. Kittle's overall performance was well perceived, as he finished third among tight ends in the broad jump, fifth in the 40-yard dash, and finished sixth among his position group in the vertical jump. On March 27, 2017, Kittle participated at Iowa's Pro Day, along with C. J. Beathard, Desmond King, Jaleel Johnson, Greg Mabin, Riley McCarron, and four other prospects. He completed his combine drills, finishing the short shuttle (4.55s), three-cone drill, and also ran positional drills. Scouts and team representatives from all 32 NFL teams attended, including Cincinnati Bengals' tight end coach Jonathan Hayes. At the conclusion of the pre-draft process, Kittle was projected to be a third or fourth round pick by NFL draft experts and scouts. He was ranked the fifth best tight end prospect in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock, sixth best by NFL analyst Gil Brandt, and was ranked the eighth best tight end by NFLDraftScout.com.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 3 3⁄4 in
|33 1⁄8 in
|9 1⁄4 in
|4.52 s||1.59 s||2.65 s||4.55 s||7.00 s||35 in
|11 ft 0 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
The San Francisco 49ers selected Kittle in the fifth round (146th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He was reunited with Iowa teammate C. J. Beathard, whom the San Francisco 49ers drafted in the third round (104th overall).
|49ers draft George Kittle 146th overall|
2017 season: Rookie year
Throughout training camp, he competed against Garrett Celek, Vance McDonald, Logan Paulsen, Blake Bell, and Cole Hikutini for the job as the starting tight end. Head coach Kyle Shanahan named Kittle the starting tight end to start the regular season.
Kittle made his NFL debut in the 49ers' season-opener against the Carolina Panthers and caught five passes for 27 yards in a 23–3 loss. He caught his first NFL reception on a 13-yard pass from Brian Hoyer on the first drive and was tackled by Panthers' safety Mike Adams. On October 8, 2017, Kittle made seven receptions for 83 yards and his first NFL touchdown during a 26–23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts. During a Week 9 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Kittle caught three passes for 27 yards, before leaving the 20–10 loss with a leg injury. He was inactive due to the injury and missed the following game against the New York Giants.
Kittle finished his rookie season with 43 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games.
In the season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, Kittle had five receptions for 90 yards in a 24–16 loss. During Week 4 against the Los Angeles Chargers, Kittle recorded an 82-yard touchdown reception as part of a 125-yard performance as the 49ers narrowly lost by a score of 29–27. During Week 7 against the Los Angeles Rams, he had five receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown in the 39–10 loss. During Week 14 against the Denver Broncos, Kittle set a franchise record for reception yards by a tight end with 210, all coming in the first half, as well as become the first 49ers tight end to surpass 1,000 receiving yards. During the season finale against the Rams, Kittle broke Travis Kelce's single-season receiving yards record for a tight end on a 43-yard touchdown and finished the season with 1,377 yards.
|NFL record for tight end|
- Most receiving yards in a season by a tight end (1,377)
- Most receiving yards in a half by a tight end (210)
- First tight end to lead the league in Yards After Catch (870)
49ers franchise records
- Most receiving yards in a game by a tight end (210)
- Most receptions by a tight end (88)
- First tight end to surpass 1,000 receiving yards
Kittle's Hawkeye ties are strong due to several family connections; his father, Bruce, was a co-captain on Iowa's 1982 Rose Bowl team. His cousins include Jess Settles, a basketball player for Iowa in the mid-1990s, and former Iowa and Los Angeles Rams tight end Henry Krieger-Coble.
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- RotoWire Staff (November 5, 2017). "49ers' George Kittle: Hurts leg Sunday". CBSSports. Retrieved December 19, 2017.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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- "George Kittle 2017 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
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- Larrabee, Kirk. "49ers connect on 82 yard touchdown pass from Beathard to Kittle". 247 Sports. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
- "49ers' George Kittle: Scores touchdown in loss to Rams". CBSSports.com. RotoWire Staff. Retrieved November 1, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Branch, Eric (December 10, 2018). "49ers ride George Kittle's 210 receiving yards to upset win over Broncos". SFGate. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- Chan, Jennifer Lee (December 30, 2018). "Kittle breaks Kelce's short-lived TE receiving yards record". NBCS Bay Area. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "George Kittle 2018 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "George Kittle Ends Historic Season with 88 catches, 1,377 Yards and Five Touchdowns". www.49ers.com. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "TE George Kittle on historic pace for 49ers". Niners Wire. November 18, 2018. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
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- "Does George Kittle ever have a bad day?". ESPN.com. August 19, 2019. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
- "NFL.com Draft Profile Page for George Kittle". George Kittle Draft Profile. Lance Zierlein. Retrieved November 2, 2018.