George 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 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.
As 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's 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 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, who the San Francisco 49ers drafted in the third round (104th overall).
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.
He earned his first career start and his regular season debut in the San Francisco 49ers' season-opener against the Carolina Panthers and caught five passes for 27-yards in their 23–3 loss. He caught his first career 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 7 receptions for 83-yards and caught his first career touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Brian Hoyer during a 26-23 overtime loss to the Indianapolis Colts. During a Week 9 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, Kittle caught 3 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 Giants.