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George Kittle or Darren Waller?

Every Wednesday on the show me and Doug Christie go through a list of items that we have to chose between in a segment we call Either/Or.  

Yesterday on the show we debated several topics but the one that seemed to trigger the largest response was a debate between two stud players on the Las Vegas Raiders and San Francisco 49ers.  

We talked our way through a discussion on which tight end would you rather have:  

George Kittle or Darren Waller. 

Either/Or segment begins at the 12:10 mark

Some suggested this was even crazy to even bring up.  After doing some digging on both players, I think this is a completely fair question and one that might be closer than some think.  My natural reaction was to easily pick George Kittle-case closed.  

When taking a deeper dive into the numbers this was a lot closer than I thought.  Numbers certainly aren’t the end all be all, but what the numbers did suggest is a much stronger case for Waller.  The other parts of the position as far as blocking and overall role to the offense would favor Kittle.  

Both are great but here are few things to think about with each player.

George Kittle:

He is 27 years old and will be entering his 5th season.  He has been a stud all 4 seasons of his 49ers career.  That stretch produced 264 catches, 3,579 yards with 14 touchdowns and even 3 rushing touchdowns.  The 49ers utilize him in very creative ways.  The numbers for Kittle could be even better but over the last two seasons he has missed 10 games. 

Kittle’s best year:  88 receptions, 1377 yards and 5 touchdowns

Darren Waller

Waller is 28 and has been in the NFL for 5 seasons.  He didn’t really find a home and a regular role until he joined the Raiders.  Over the last two seasons he has produced gaudy numbers that put him up with wide receivers in the NFL.  Hist career totals include 215 catches for 2,519 yards and 14 touchdowns.  Waller has been all the field and a key piece to the Raiders offense for every game the last 2 seasons. 

Waller’s last 2 seasons:  

  • 90 receptions, 1145 yards and 3 touchdowns
  • 107 receptions, 1196 yards and 9 touchdowns 

In the final analysis of this, I would still take George Kittle but the margin is close.  I might even have a different opinion on this in another year.  They are asked to do different things for their respective teams and they both do them very well.  Bottom line is both teams are lucky to have them and they are both at the top of their field.  

Enjoy them while you can.