In his post-draft presser, Terry Fontenot told media members that he and the rest of the Falcons staff coveted Kyle Pitts for a long time.
Terry Fontenot said the #Falcons coveted Kyle Pitts for a long time
— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) April 30, 2021
This comment comes a couple of days after Adam Schefter reported that head coach Arthur Smith had become enamored with the Florida tight end. It isn’t a revelation that Smith, a guru at the position as he coached the tight ends in Tennessee for many years, wanted to get his hands on Pitts. He revived Delanie Walker’s career and helped Jonnu Smith reach Pro Bowl honors. No team ran more two-tight end sets last year than the Titans, and Smith deployed the third-most three-tight end sets. Drafting Pitts gives Smith the ability to stay in 11 personnel all game, which forces the defense to account for the run with bigger linebackers but still defend against the pass — given Pitts’s prowess as a receiver — with smaller defensive backs. The defense will have to defend the run with smaller bodies or defend the pass with bigger bodies.
We already know that Smith wants to create chaos, putting the defenses into unfavorable positions, and this draft pick could make the Falcons’ offense impossible to defend. I plan to do an in-depth analysis of what Pitts has to offer, but in short, he is the definition of an “F” tight end. He can line up outside on the boundary, in the slot, and with his hand in the dirt in-line, winning at every point in his route — at the line of scrimmage, during the route, at the stem, and at the catch point. Smith can use him as an in-line, in motion, or split-out blocker. The possibilities are endless in terms of formations. Trying to defend a player like Pitts will open things up for Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, so the notion Atlanta coveted him isn’t unexpected.