No tight end has been a top-five pick in the NFL draft since 1972. If ever there was a time for someone to break that trend, it’s now and his name is Kyle Pitts.
The hybrid tight end from the University of Florida has been rising up draft boards thanks to some insane college tape, plus the fact he’s 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds with the ability to sink his hips like a wide receiver. He averaged 17.9 yards on 43 receptions with 12 touchdowns and zero drops on 66 targets over eight games last year for the Gators. And Pitts did it under the guidance of Brian Johnson, the former Florida offensive coordinator turned Eagles quarterbacks coach for 2021.
Pitts’ ascension up the mock drafts is getting noticed, too. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. had him going at fourth overall to the New York Jets. NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah had him pegged at number six to the Eagles. And CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso also had Pitts going to Philly at six.
“After Trevor Lawrence, it’s Kyle Pitts,” an AFC scout told the New York Post. “If there is a tight end that needed to get taken in the top five, it would be this guy. I’ve never seen anything like him. At any point in time, he’s your best receiver and your best tight end.”
Draft 1 player:
🔁 Kyle Pitts
❤️ Ja'Marr Chase pic.twitter.com/LnmtiDr7LF
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 26, 2021
One more very important note: Pitts is a Philadelphia native who grew up in Abington, PA and went to high school at Archbishop Wood where he played tight end and defensive end. He actually started his youth career as a quarterback before switching to tight end during a summer football camp at Temple.
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Best Modern-Day Comparison for Pitts
Pitts made the decision to forego his senior season at Florida because he knows his draft stock can’t get any higher than it already is. He’s been projected to go anywhere from the fourth pick to 11th overall, depending on how the board shakes out with quarterbacks. The 20-year-old has the potential to be the greatest tight end of all-time, according to one former coach.
They going to have to respect me ..🤷🏾♂️
— Kyle Pitts👑 (@kylepitts__) February 22, 2021
“There is no reason why this kid can’t be the best tight end to ever play the game,” Gators assistant head coach Tim Brewster told The New York Post. “You speak it into existence. We’ve talked about it. He’s got that type of ability.”
He has been compared to Travis Kelce and Tony Gonzalez if he stays at tight end, with some calling him the next Calvin Johnson should he move to wide receiver. Here is a scouting report from Jordan Reid at Draft Network:
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.
Kyle Pitts was automatic on Saturday's 🐊🔥 @kylepitts__
ZERO drops pic.twitter.com/YoDDn60wpq
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) February 23, 2021
Ja’Marr Chase Remains Odds-On Favorite
Meanwhile, the general consensus remains that the Philadelphia Eagles will select Ja’Marr Chase with the sixth overall pick. The LSU product is widely considered the best wide receiver in the draft (slightly ahead of Alabama’s DeVonta Smith) and the only real issues would be the Miami Dolphins snatching him up at three or the Cincinnati Bengals taking him at five.
Brandon Lee Gowton over at Bleeding Green Nation did an excellent job of rounding up all the mock drafts out there. He counted seven of them sending Chase to Philly, with Pitts heading to the Eagles in five and Smith donning midnight green in three. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields also registered in three mock drafts.
Ja’Marr Chase is the most popular Eagles mock draft pick but there’s hardly a consensus: https://t.co/oMKZ854730
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) February 27, 2021
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