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When the 49ers lost George Kittle last year, the foundation of their offense was crushed. Kittle provides the dynamic blocking foundation and athletic, massive receiving presence over the middle of the field that makes the thing click.
We really never got to see Kittle and Jordan Reed together on the field, which was a tantalizing prospect from the outset of the season. But that could change, whether it’s Reed, or another receiving tight end.
In Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Kittle (and theoretically, at least, Jalen Hurd), the 49ers have successfully been acquiring positionally-flexible, offensive weapons.
That’s why NFL Network’s draft expert, Daniel Jeremiah, sees the 49ers running that formula back. In Jeremiah’s first mock draft, he has the 49ers drafting the hyper-athletic matchup nightmare in Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. Pitts lined up as an H-back, split out wide, and played in the slot and as a traditional tight end. While his blocking form could use work, he’s a brutal mismatch for defenders at the position.
At 6’6″, 246 pounds, Pitts ran riot in just eight games last year, catching 43 passes for 770 yards (17.9 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns. He’s shifty, quick, and attacks the ball at high catch points in a way that’s borderline impossible to defend.
you're not high enough on kyle pitts pic.twitter.com/4vwTBzzesd
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) January 17, 2021
Here’s Jeremiah’s rationale for the pick:
“Don’t freak out, people! I know the Niners already have an elite tight end. However, they have embraced the positionless-player movement, and Pitts would team up with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to give Kyle Shanahan an embarrassment of riches.”
Especially if Juszczyk leaves (and Reed, too), San Francisco could use some H-back experience and another offensive weapon in their arsenal.