Prospect Profile: TE Kyle Pitts
Jake Pittman - 2/16/2021
Prospect Profile: TE Kyle Pitts
Kyle Pitts is a 6’6" 246-pound flex tight end from Florida University. Pitts made the college football world know his name in 2020. Pitts put up 770 yards and 12 TDs receiving even in a strange season plagued by a global pandemic. Pitts lead Florida along with Heisman Trophy candidate Kyle Trask to an impressive season. Pitts declared for the draft only a day after Florida’s loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, and he has created quite a buzz in the NFL draft community. Many draft analysts even project him to be picked in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Kyle Pitts is an absolute matchup nightmare. At 6’6" Pitts is far too big of a matchup for smaller corners and safeties, and much too athletic for bigger linebackers to keep up with. Along with his physical gifts, Pitts also has outstanding ball skills. He does a great job of anticipating the path of the ball in the air, and then high pointing it at a position where defenders could never reach it. Pitts can play out wide, in the slot or as an inline tight end. This versatility makes him even more difficult to defend as you never truly know where he will be coming from. He has smooth hands and graceful feet even at his size. He can get away from defenders using his long strides, and even when defenders do catch him from behind, he can use his long arms to stiff arm them at a distance and gain extra yardage. Pitts frame and athleticism alone would garner him a lot of attention from scouts, but his skill and football smarts are going to make many teams fall in love with him.
Pitts is not a true TE. He is not big enough or strong enough to run block from the line of scrimmage. He hasn’t shown a drive to be great at it either. This isn’t a huge turn away for teams becausewhen they draft him, they know that they will be getting someone more like TE Evan Engram than someone like TE George Kittle. This however does cap his upside as an every-down player that makes things happen in all parts of the field like the aforementioned George Kittle. Pitts will still make a huge impact for whatever team drafts him in the receiving game, but not so much as a run-blocker. Pitts is not as filled out in his large frame as he could be. He could use to put on a few more pounds of muscle to be more suitable as a TE in the next level.
Pitts route running isn’t special in any way. He depends on his natural size and athleticism to go up, over and around defenders even when they are draped all over him. At the next level, bigger more physical corners like Jalen Ramsey and Stephon Gilmore may be able use their length and physicality to take him out of plays. However, if he is placed into the slot or in the natural TE position he won’t see many matchups against team’s top corner backs. This is what makes him such an intriguing prospect for teams that already have solidified options at the WR position.
This may seem a little strange considering that Kyle Pitts is a tight end, but for a player as different and versatile as him, it’s only fitting. The player that Pitts reminds me of is Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans. Evans and Pitts play two different positions, but yet they beat their defenders in the exact same way, with an exceptional ability at high pointing the football even when shrouded in defenders. Neither player is especially fast and neither player is an elite route runner, but they both know what that they have that not many other people on this planet have. That rare gift is being 6’6" while also being incredibly agile and athletic. Just like Evans, Pitts should become a player that NFL defensive coordinators dread planning for.
Most Likely Landing Spots:
With the growing rumors about TE Zach Ertz being traded in near future and the lack of receiving weapons in the offense, the buzz for Pitts landing in Philadelphia has been steadily growing over the past few days. Pitts would provide a fantastic big bodied weapon for QB Jalen Hurts or Carson Wentz that they have been desperately needing since WR Alshon Jeffery started battling injuries every season. Most people around the league are expecting the Eagles to choose Hurts as the starter at QB for next season and the upcoming future, and a huge weapon like Pitts is a great security blanket for a young developing QB. Even though the Eagles still have the young and promising TE Dallas Goedert, the Eagles often use 2 TEs on the field at the same time, and Pitts would bring a completely different dynamic to the offense. If Pitts were to land in Philadelphia,I think that he would have an opportunity for immediate fantasy relevance. The tight end position is always difficult to project and weekly contributors are few and far between. A player with Pitts receiving ability and difficulty to defend would be lumped in with players like Hunter Henry, Jared Cook and Hayden Hurst at the backend of the top 12 tight ends.
The Vikings drafted a budding superstar at WR in Justin Jefferson last year’s draft, and they may be looking for another weapon this year. TE Kyle Rudolph’s time as the Vikings starting TE seems to be drawing to a close, and a player like Pitts can offer a new dynamic to the team that they haven’t had in a long time. With Dalvin Cook at running back and WRs Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson out wide, QB Kirk Cousins already has an impressive arsenal of weapons, but adding a player like Pitts can bolster this group even more. If Pitts were to land in Minnesota he would have as good of a chance at finishing the season as a TE1 as any other TE drafted near the end of next year’s fantasy drafts due to his TD scoring prowess.
As we all know, Jerry Jones loves to draft flashy new weapons. In recent years, they have taken players like RB Ezekiel Elliott and WR CeeDee Lamb, while also trading a first round pick for WR Amari Cooper. If the Cowboys fall in love with Pitts in the same way that they did with Lamb, he could be an option for them in the first round. Current TEs Dalton Schultz and Blake Jarwin don’t have the same type of abilities that Pitts does. He would add a new dimension to the offense that could make them even more potent. Pitts would make QB Dak Prescott an even more intriguing fantasy option as well. If Pitts were to land in Dallas he would have a great opportunity to finish the season as a TE1, but week by week consistency may be difficult to come by considering all of the other pass catchers in the offense.
Kyle Pitts is one of the most physically gifted prospects in recent years and his talents will be a phenomenal addition to whatever team adds him to their offense. Using his giant frame and natural athleticism, Pitts should be able to be an outstanding redzone weapon. I project Pitts to be drafted in the early stages of the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. Regardless of where he lands, his special abilities will give him fantasy potential even in his rookie season.
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