In Seth Galina of PFF’s latest mock draft, the Falcons take the superstar tight end out of Florida, Kyle Pitts, with the fourth overall pick.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 9, 2021
In Ryan Wilson’s mock draft for CBS Sports, the Falcons traded down with the Panthers — who acquired their next franchise quarterback — and took Pitts as well, with the eighth overall pick. Even though the PFF mock slates Pitts going off the board fourth, I have no issues taking the former Gator without trading back.
Pitts might be the best player in this draft, and it could even be argued that he’s the most likely to make it to Canton at the end of his career. From my draft profile on Pitts:
Pitts is positionless. He can align on the boundary, in the slot, or with his hand in the dirt. He’s as good of a route-runner as any receiver in this draft with great burst out of his break, giving him elite change-of-direction skills for a person of his size. Pitts is as good after-the-catch as he is before, a rare and tremendous red-zone threat. Excellent at beating one-on-one press, but also great at finding the soft spot in zones. The former Gator, much like Julio Jones, makes normal 50-50 balls, closer to 60-40 in favor of Pitts.
There literally isn’t an area where Pitts struggles. Many would point to his blocking being a weakness, but everything I’ve watched contradicts these takeaways. I’ve found he’s good in pass protection and an above-average run-blocker. There are several plays where he’s in great position then executes fakes impressively to leak into his routes. He can block in-line with his hand in the dirt, in the slot, or in motion.
There’s nothing anyone could say to convince me that taking Kyle Pitts with the fourth pick is a reach. Arthur Smith would be able to leave two tight ends on the field the entire game, which would keep defenses in a grey area of staying in base personnel to combat the run or switching to nickel to defend the pass. Pitts, Hayden Hurst, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and whichever running back is at Matt Ryan‘s disposal would create one of the most feared passing attacks this league has ever seen.
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