It takes years to realize what a team’s draft class can really become, but that hasn’t stopped the national outlets from re-drafting the 2021 class. After their rookie season, how could anyone truly be confident in their ability to assess something differently than before the draft? Well, the folks over at Pro Football Focus have enough data to convince themselves that Kyle Pitts was the wrong selection at No. 4 in last year’s draft.
The Falcons were a team that could have been in the quarterback market in 2021 but decided not to go there. Jones is the only passer who has enhanced his stock relative to expectations, and he isn’t available in this re-draft. Parsons drew comparisons with Lawrence Taylor for the degree to which he dominated as a rookie, earning the highest pressure rate of any player. He had 70 total pressures including the playoffs from 319 rushes and acquitted himself well as a traditional off-the-ball linebacker. He looked like a transcendent player on defense.
I don’t want to minimize what Micah Parsons did in his first year in the league because it was special, but discounting Pitts’ equally historic rookie season is lazy. It is close. Parsons had as impressive of a rookie season as any… but so did Pitts. The clowns over at PFF didn’t even have Pitts land in the top ten! That is blasphemous.
During his rookie year, Pitts was named to the Pro Bowl and was the first rookie TE to make it since Jeremy Shockey in 2002. He broke a bevy of franchise records and nearly eclipsed Mike Ditka‘s league rookie receiving record for a tight end. Outside of touchdowns, Pitts was also among the NFL’s best tight ends in every statistical category. He ranked tied for seventh in receptions but was third in receiving yards, giving him the highest yards per reception average. To put that into perspective, Noah Fant recorded the same amount of receptions but totaled only 670 yards, a difference of over 350 yards.
There is absolutely no way in hell someone of Pitts’ caliber should fall out of the first ten selections. Honestly, Sam Monson must have just forgotten about Pitts because there’s no way this was on purpose.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire
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