The retired former Cowboys defensive end-turned-analyst recently made his case on ESPN’s First Take, arguing the club must prioritize its defense before continuing to stock its offensive arsenal.
“I hope to God Kyle Pitts isn’t there at 10. Cause Dallas don’t need him,” Spears said, via Blogging The Boys. “I understand the level of talent, and if he is there, it’s too enticing to not take that level of talent, but trying to solidify the defense with a corner, defensive lineman is needed.
“If he’s sitting there at 10, it’s going to be hard as hell for the Dallas Cowboys or any team that already had a tight end to pass up that level of talent, I just pray he ain’t there. There has to be an emphasis more on need than talent.”
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A Big Smokescreen?
The Cowboys have been heavily connected to Pitts, a presumptive top-10 pick in the annual offseason spectacle, scheduled to kick off Thursday, April 29. Ex-NFL general manager Michael Lombardi opened the floodgates in March, pressing Dallas to “sprint” Pitts’ card to the podium should he fall to its No. 10 slot.
ESPN insider Chris Mortensen then broke the alleged news that team owner Jerry Jones is “infatuated” with Pitts and reportedly mulling a blockbuster move to Atlanta’s fourth-overall spot to secure the 20-year-old’s services. Unless he doesn’t.
The Dallas Morning News‘ Michael Gehlken indicated last week’s addition of Jeremy Sprinkle — now the fourth TE on the offseason roster — removes the Cowboys from the Pitts sweepstakes. Gehlken predicted they will use their first-round choice on Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II, as many mock drafts have suggested.
“Cowboys are well-stocked at tight end. They won’t be drafting Kyle Pitts this month (and likely won’t have opportunity at No. 10). Feel pretty Surtain of it,” he tweeted last Wednesday.
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A unanimous All-American and recipient of the John Mackey Award, awarded to the nation’s top TE, Pitts collected 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns — all career highs — across eight games of Florida’s COVID-shortened 2020 campaign.
The generational prospect has been widely hailed as the best receiving prospect in this year’s class. A rocked-up 6-foot-6, 245 pounds with 4.44 speed and the longest wingspan (83 3/8″) of any wide receiver or tight end in the last 20 years, Pitts is likely to be off the board when Dallas goes on the clock in Cleveland. Mocks have him as high as No. 4, potentially the first non-quarterback selection, and to teams such as Cincinnati (No. 5), Detroit (No. 7), and Denver (No. 9).
“Pitts would likely perform best if he goes to a team that targets TEs often and moves around TEs to utilize their versatility best. Plenty of teams have a baseline need for a player like Pitts. However, creative offensive minds would have a field day sifting through the mismatches that Pitts provides. Nevertheless, only so many teams will have a chance to add Pitts, so the possibilities are limited,” Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline wrote in his scouting profile.
“In the early first round, teams like the Dolphins, Bengals, Giants, Panthers, and Cowboys all have reason to consider Pitts. But if he somehow slips due to his positional designation, teams like the Cardinals, Chargers, and Washington would also be nice destinations for him. Simply put, Pitts is an elite offensive weapon who checks almost all the boxes as a versatile mismatch and perpetual playmaking machine. Players like Pitts are rare, and they never last very long in the draft.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL