Tight ends were a popular position in the 2017 draft. The New York Giants, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Cleveland Browns each chose a tight end in the first round of the draft. Only one of those picks, Giants TE Evan Engram, had a better season than fifth-rounder George Kittle.
Kittle was another late-round stud for the San Francisco 49ers this season. He ended his rookie year with 43 grabs for 515 yards and two touchdowns. He ranked second in receptions and yards among tight ends in his rookie class. Kittle flew under the radar most of 2017 before ending his rookie year with a bang. He caught 11 passes for 194 yards and a score in the final three games of the season.
Looking ahead to 2018
Kittle will be a tight end to watch next year. He will have rising star QB Jimmy Garoppolo under center all season. Garoppolo loves to throw over the middle and should target his TE a lot next season. Kittle already showed chemistry with Garoppolo at the end of 2017. The 146th overall pick is poised for a breakout season in 2018.
Kittle will be a popular tight end in the 2018 draft. He was in the top 20 for receptions and yards last season with a carousel of quarterbacks under center. He should have a much stronger year working with just Garoppolo in 2018. Owners will have to move quickly to get Kittle in the draft next year. He will be taken by the seventh round in most leagues.