Former USC Trojans wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. may not boast the enormous nearly 20-inch pythons on each arm that his father, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals running back Michael Pittman once did. However, Pittman Jr.’s professional ceiling has a chance to eclipse even that of his father’s Super Bowl-winning 10-year NFL career.
Michael Pittman Jr. Latest Mocks & Draft Projections
By all accounts, Pittman showed up to Mobile, Alabama for Senior Bowl week and dominated. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller mentions Pittman’s stellar performance in his latest Scouting Notebook where he pointed out the wideout’s “excellent physicality and smart route running,” while also proclaiming he cemented himself as a “top 60 player“.
In Matt Miller’s latest three-round mock, Pittman finds himself coming off the board in the second round. Miller pencils in Pittman as the 36th-overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, landing with the New York Giants. This fit is fairly intriguing. On one end, New York lacks a true wide receiver one. On the other end, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Evan Engram each operate best out of the slot, a position that Pittman projects well to at the next level as well.
ESPN draft expert Todd McShay had high praise for Pittman, pegging him as a top-five receiver in a stacked class.
“Michael Pittman is one of the special players that you get to meet all year long, traveling around going to different college campuses every single week. Interviewing different players. Sit down with Michael Pittman and you get to know who he is. He’s a young man that had to overcome some stuff in his life. He really has focused so hard after having a big drop early in his career against UCLA in the rivalry game. He’s bounced back from it because he’s just worked hard. All he does is work on the jugs machine every single day,” said McShay of the former Trojans star. “He’s big. He’s 6-foot-4. He’s 220 pounds. He just looks the part of the wide receiver that you are looking for in the NFL. Doesn’t have great speed, but what he does so well is separate late and create yards after the catch because he’s so strong and he’s so focused as a player. He has 95 catches this year for USC. They’ve had a lot of problems offensively, I get it but Pittman, to me, is one of the best five wide receivers in this upcoming NFL Draft.”
McShay’s ESPN counterpart Mel Kiper also likes Pittman Jr. as a prospect, but to a lesser degree than that of McShay.
“I like Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round because if he doesn’t have the great 40 time, you know, he has the frame, has obviously the bloodlines,” Kiper Jr. stated. “You think about the production. I think Michael Pittman Jr. USC in round two.”
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Michael Pittman Jr. NFL Draft Profile
Pros: Pittman Jr. has the ability to operate on the outside or as a big-bodied slot ala Larry Fitzgerald. While he may not be as stout as his father, Pittman offers WR1-size standing at 6’4” and nearly 220 pounds. He shows good hands and an ability to get in and out of his routes. Had a monster 2019 campaign. The biggest pro for Pittman Jr. is his ability to use his size to his advantage, he attacks the ball and frames off smaller defenders.
Cons: Pittman Jr. is not overly special in one specific area. His athletic ability appears to be just average for a player at his position. He could be considered more crafty as a route-runner than one who can win with sudden quickness off the line of scrimmage or at the top of the route.
Draft Projection: Round 2-3
In a normal draft, Pittman would be a sure-fire second-round draft prospect with a chance to sneak into the latter end of the first round. However, the 2020 wide receiver draft class is shaping up to be one of the better classes over the last decade. For that purpose, an NFL team will likely find themselves a steal, and a future starting wideout in the middle to late second round.