Player Profile: Kyle Pitts

Height: 6’5”
Weight: 240 lbs
School: Florida

Why you’re drafting him…

A size and positional matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Kyle Pitts (6’5″, 240 lbs) is the type of player that most will confuse as being an extra wide receiver versus a traditional tight end. However, Pitts has excelled lining up outside, in the slot, and next to either tackle on the line of scrimmage, making him the ultimate chess piece at the next level. He has very reliable hands, he’s the quarterback’s best friend due to both his ability to find holes in zone coverage and due to his athletic ability to outjump defenders and high point the ball, and he’s nearly automatic as a pass-catching option in the red zone. We’ve seen a player like Darren Waller become a team’s top pass-catching option due to his size, speed, and overall skillset, and that’s the type of complete player you’re getting in Kyle Pitts. If you’re a fan of the NFL team that drafts him and you’re not very familiar with Pitts, don’t be turned off by his slender build. He’s a tough player and uses his unique body type (positionally speaking) to his advantage as a down-the-field playmaker.

Needs to improve…

Pitts was a fine blocker at Florida, but I believe it was due in large part because of his overall size and the infrequency that the Gators ran the ball. He’ll have to improve at the next level as NFL defensive ends and linebackers will be a different animal compared to what Pitts has been asked to do in college as an in-line blocker. However, you’re not drafting Pitts to block. So while it’s something he’ll need to do (and do well) on a week-to-week basis, he’ll be a first-round draft pick because of what he provides as a pass catcher. If he’s selected in an offense that thrives off precise timing routes, he’ll need to improve his route running against man-to-man coverage as well. As he is currently, his speed and frame in general allow him to make contested catches with little separation.

Prediction for 2021 NFL Draft…

It’s rare to see a tight end selected in the first round, and it’s obviously even more rare to see a TE selected in the top 10-15 picks; however, you may see that this year with Pitts. He’s a sure-fire bet to be the first selected at his position, and deservedly so. Look for a team that’s in need of a big-time, game-changing type of playmaker to give the green light to Pitts as the mismatches he’ll create and the numbers he’ll be able to produce (sooner rather than later) will be too hard to pass up. My current teams to keep in mind include Cincinnati, Chicago, New England and Carolina.

Dynasty fantasy football spin…

I don’t want to say that Pitts will be “over drafted” in rookie drafts this year, but you’re going to see him off the board sooner rather than later; especially if teams in the 1.05-1.08 range are tight end needy. It wasn’t too long ago I thought he’d last to the late first/early second, but I’m pretty confident that those days are behind us. Expect Pitts to be selected no later than 1.10.

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