George Kittle contract: Checking on 8 TEs picked ahead in 2017

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers, John Lynch (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers, John Lynch (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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Gerald Everett, George Kittle, NFL Draft
(Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /

Day two selections

Gerald Everett, Rams

The first division rival of the 49ers to select a tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft was the Los Angeles Rams, who selected the small-school standout Gerald Everett of South Alabama.

Everett was another in a long list of athletic, high-upside tight ends from this class, grading in the 81st percentile or better in every speed and explosiveness metric. Since they already had Tyler Higbee on the roster, the Rams perhaps felt Everett was a better complement than Kittle or the other alternative options from this class.

He has caught 86 passes (7 touchdowns) in three seasons with the Rams, and his role has steadily increased in Sean McVay’s offense.

Adam Shaheen, Bears

Immediately after the Rams selected Gerald Everett, the Chicago Bears selected another small school player in Adam Shaheen.

Shaheen is a 6-foot-6, 278-pound hulk of a prospect with decent athletic measurables across the board and really strong tape and traits, even coming from Ashland.

Injuries (catching a theme?) have limited Shaheen to just 27 NFL games, and over the past two seasons with the Bears, he’s caught just 14 passes with one touchdown. He did catch three touchdowns in his rookie season, giving the Bears apparently some false hope.

Chicago shipped Shaheen off to the Miami Dolphins in the 2020 offseason in a trade.

Jonnu Smith, Titans

The Tennessee Titans made Jonnu Smith the next tight end off the board, yet another athletic, high-upside player with intriguing flex potential.

Smith has been a steady contributor for the Titans’ offense, and as the 100th overall pick in the NFL Draft, you can’t ask for a lot better than what he’s provided.

He has 73 receptions in 45 games with eight touchdowns, and he also has a pair of first-down runs.

The Titans have seen Smith’s role in their offense consistently grow, and with the trajectory he’s on, I’d say the best days are yet ahead.