Rumors continue to swirl that the Falcons will deal Julio Jones in the coming days, and fans are understandably upset. On this week’s Talkin’ Birdy episode, we got a mailbag question asking if we thought Kyle Pitts could replace Julio Jones‘ production. My answer was simple: there is no replacing the impact and attention that Jones draws on the field, but in the Red Zone, I think Kyle Pitts can easily replace that production. I don’t think Pitts will come anywhere close to the amount of yards that Jones will put up, but he could be used on the boundary in a similar way.
Barring any changes, the Falcons will no longer have that impact X receiver out wide. Calvin Ridley is one of the best #2 receivers in the NFL, but he is more of a route runner rather than a jump ball specialist. Frank Darby shows some promise as a deep threat, but he is still a day three draft choice. Enter Kyle Pitts.
One of the most hyped tight end prospects of all time, Pitts boasts the longest wingspan for a tight end OR receiver in NFL history. On top of posting a blazing 40 time at his pro day, he has one of the more incredible catch radiuses you will ever see. Here’s an example of him bullying Carolina’s first-round pick Jaycee Horn along with some other impressive grabs:
You’re an NFL CB and Kyle Pitts splits out so you’re 1-on-1 with him. He can dominate with a fade/back shoulder ball with his size, strength, physicality, and catch radius but can also break inside and turn you around if you overplay that. So wyd?? 🤷🏻♂️pic.twitter.com/1cIfvrqWGB
— Steven Cheah (@StevenCheah) March 14, 2021
Here’s another example of Pitts working as a slot wing and snagging a ball he has no business catching:
Florida TE Kyle Pitts is such a mismatch with his size and smoothness. Love the catch radius and ball skills. pic.twitter.com/AjQenc9XI0
— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) August 13, 2020
I think there are NFL wide receivers that would have trouble bringing this ball in:
— Jordan Reid (@Jordan_Reid) October 3, 2020
While even becoming half of what Julio Jones is would be a tall order, I think Pitts has the natural gifts and abilities to make it happen. Moving him all around the offense is paramount, and I believe Arthur Smith will shift him wherever to get the best out of him.