George Kittle far and away has been one of the NFL's most proficient tight ends over his three seasons in the league.
The 49ers star broke the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards at his position, and his blocking prowess is paralleled by few other. He's also one of two tight ends to finish in the league's top 10 for both receiving and run-blocking grades from Pro Football Focus since 2018.
Kittle is a king of the advanced stats, and thusly was selected to NFL.com's "All-Analytics Team" by Cynthia Frelund.
"Next Gen Stats shows that Kittle led the NFL in receiving yards per route run in 2019 with 3.3 (among those who ran a minimum of 100 routes)," Frelund writes. "This makes sense, given his production as a passing target: Kittle recorded 75.2 receiving yards per game over 14 games, the second-highest rate among qualified tight ends, and the fourth-best catch percentage (79.4%)."
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Frelund's deep dive also revealed that when run plays had Kittle in their path, ball-carriers had the second-best yards per carry of any tight end in the NFL.
Kittle's unique versatility has many expecting the 26-year-old to receive a record-breaking contract extension this offseason. His agent, Jack Bechta, recently told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco that he believes Kittle deserves a "special contract," and that the tight end is "one of a kind."
It has been reported that the two sides were "not close at all" by NFL Network's Michael Silver in late May, but the organization has made every indication since the end of the season that bringing Kittle back is high on the priority list.
These numbers are just some of the many reasons Kittle should be an integral part of the 49ers going forward, and it seems very likely the two sides will come to a mutually beneficial contract in due time.
Why 49ers' George Kittle was named to NFL.com's 'All-Analytics' squad originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area