Tight end isn’t a position you typically want to tease Detroit Lions fans about drafting given the struggles they’ve had at the spot through the years, and sure enough, 2021 will bring another top prospect from that position out.
Florida’s Kyle Pitts is set to become one of the top prospects in the draft, and it just so happens he plays the position. The Lions have T.J. Hockenson, but do they need another top-flight talent at the same spot to help out their roster?
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That will be the subject of much debate in the next few weeks, but a notable pundit is already throwing some gasoline on the fire as it relates to that via a brand new live mock draft. Fox Sports talking head Colin Cowherd recently was selecting for the Lions in a mock, and sent Pitts to Detroit with the seventh pick in the draft.
Pitts is a player many see as sniffing around the top. 10 thanks to his ability to make catches and big plays in traffic and be an ideal downfield weapon in the new-look and pass-heavy NFL. It would be a major gamble to be sure to pick a tight end again with theoretically so many other needs across the roster, but Pitts could help Detroit’s offensive need for big plays.
That’s likely why he was Cowherd’s pick for the team when all is said and done.
Pitts’ Stats and Highlights
Clearly, if there is a tight end who can impact the passing game in a dramatic way in this draft, Pitts is it. During his career with the Gators, Pitts put up 1,492 yards and 18 touchdowns. The majority of his production came last season when he really made a name for himself with pass catching and big plays. Pitts isn’t going to fool anyone as a blocker and he is more of a pass-catcher or a wideout in disguise at the tight end spot as his highlights from college show.
Obviously, Pitts is very talented player and his production in college shows what he can do well on the field is catch the ball. Detroit had bad luck with Eric Ebron and drafted Hockenson, but it might be too soon to go back to that well for fans.
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Lions Tight End Depth Might Remain Thin
It’s been a busy offseason for the Lions at the tight end spot. Jesse James exited, while Josh Hill came to town as a signing of the team. Adding Hill was a key move for the Lions given the fact that the team doesn’t have much in the form of depth. One thing that seemed like it could work in the favor of James before his release was the fact that the Lions don’t have great depth at tight end. T.J. Hockenson is entrenched on the roster, but beyond that, there isn’t much at all. Hunter Bryant was injured much of last season and is better as a receiver, and the team just signed Alize Mack a month ago, but he doesn’t have any NFL production to rely on at this point in time.
The good news for the Lions? Hill will add some good depth for the team at a key spot on the roster. He could be expected to be the second tight end to Hockenson this fall, and if he can be better than James was, that would be the ideal situation for the Lions moving forward.
Now, Hill comes to the team with a shot to make an impact on a young roster looking to rebuild. Would the Lions view tight end as a big enough need to grab a player like Pitts? It might seem farfetched, but if he grades out in elite fashion, anything is always possible.
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