NFL Mock Draft: Falcons Trade Down for All-Star TE

Falcons tight end hayden hurst

Getty Hayden Hurst #81 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Falcons are set to have the No. 4 overall draft pick in April, but we all know that number could change. And in some mock drafts, analysts have the Falcons moving out of that spot.

CBS Sports analyst Ryan Wilson has the Falcons trading back with the Panthers to acquire Florida Gators’ tight end, Kyle Pitts, at No. 8 overall.

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Kyle Pitt’s Scouting Report

In his three seasons at Florida, Pitts caught 100 passes for 1,492 yards and 18 touchdowns. And just this past 2020 season, he reeled in 43 passes for 770 yards with 12 touchdowns as a junior.

Here is the NFL Draft Network‘s scouting report on Pitts:

As a former quarterback, Kyle Pitts’ journey to tight end started one day at summer football camp while at Temple. Moved to tight end in an experimental role, his future remained there following that day. At Florida, he became a focal point of the team’s offense. From multiple platforms he proved to be a dominant option in the passing game as well as a serviceable threat as a run blocker. At 6-foot-6, he plays just as big as his size indicates. More in the role of a big receiver, Pitts can align outside, in the slot, or place his hand in the dirt in-line. As an F tight end, his combination of size, athleticism, and hands makes him a multi-level threat for creative offensive coordinators. As a run blocker, he’s sustainable and willing as a one-on-one blocker, but also isn’t afraid to get his face dirty in the box, either. Pitts will need to go to a team that can use him in creative ways with an outside-the-box thinker orchestrating the offense that allows his assets to shine.

Why Drafting a QB in a Later Round Makes Sense for Atlanta

The Falcons have made it obvious that Matt Ryan will be their 2021 starter, which means the Falcons are not in need of a quarterback this season, so trading back to give the Panther a new franchise QB wouldn’t hurt them. But it doesn’t even have to be a trade with Carolina, plenty of other struggling teams are in the market for a young, fresh signal-caller.

And it’s worth noting that if the Falcons pass up a QB in the first round, there will still be plenty of talent on the board in round two. Also, trading out of their spot would give them more draft capital on top of their already six picks.

While the tight end position might not be one of the Falcons’ top needs, Pitts could be the game-changer they need pairing up with a skilled offense featuring Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Hayden Hurst, and Russell Gage.

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