Despite playing a minor position, Kyle Pitts is a major player for the 2021 NFL Draft
To say Kyle Pitts is a “just a tight end” isn’t factually true. Sure, some people will view him best when blocking inside and connecting on short routes. They would be correct.
Most evaluators though see the do-it-all player as a “Unicorn” at the next level. One season of elite mentality for the Florida Gators will give anyone the extra umph entering the professional ranks.
The 2021 NFL Draft is approaching. On April 29, 32 prospects will have a chance to hear their name called by Commissioner Roger Goodell. First rounders always have a high chance of busting, but there’s a few who are campus prospects that actually live up to the hype.
Pitts has made executives believe he’s one of those sure-fire hits and perhaps the best player not named Trevor Lawrence.
“He is for me. I went into it with a little skepticism,” former NFL GM and executive Randy Mueller told FanSided’s Matt Lombardo on the Matt Lombardo Show. “When I studied him, I went into it with a little bit of skepticism, because I’ve never been one to take a tight end this high. I think even the greatest tight ends of all time are still limited in what they can do. But, I saw a different cat in Kyle Pitts.”
NFL Draft: Is Kyle Pitts worth the hype?
Player comps are always a fun analogy during NFL Draft season. For Pitts, he’s in a league of his own.
One could argue he’s better on the perimeter. Others think he’s best used inside similar to that of Las Vegas Raiders standout Darren Waller. The “next Calvin Johnson” narrative also has been thrown around when talking about the 6-foot-6 standout from Philadelphia.
Mueller is in the class of “all-around player” rather than position. Simply line him up and let him work.
“I saw a guy who’s not only a tight end, I think he’s a receiver, he’s really a weapon. He’s all of the above,” Mueller said. “I had him rated behind the top two quarterbacks, but I could see someone taking him in a heartbeat at every stop along the way. I think he’s going to be a matchup nightmare. I always come back to this … Even if they cover him, I’m not sure they can do anything about him catching the football.”
Pitts a matchup nightmare for defensive players. One simply can’t ask a nickel cornerback to play man against him due to size alone. Cover linebackers can have trouble in one on ones and safeties will be forced to leave a zone open.
What does that do for an offense as a whole? It opens the lane for other stars to flourish.
“You can create some big-time mismatches with him, and if you look around the league, offenses are trending towards using flex tight ends like him or even more two tight end sets.,” A NFC personnel executive told Lombardo on this weeks’ Between the Hash Marks column.
Pitts is set to be the first pick in the draft that isn’t quarterback. One AFC East personnel evaluator told FanSided that the Atlanta Falcons would be open to taking him at No. 4 overall. Another scout said he won’t make it out of the top-five.
All the scouting analyst believe talent wise, Pitts a consensus top-three player. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has him ranked No. 2. So does NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah and USA Today’s Luke Easterling. Even Pro Football Focus is sold that Pitts in the can’t-miss product.
Mueller describes Pitts as the “closer” in baseball. One calls upon him to end the game and he’s always gets the job done.
“That’s the ultimate third-strike that he’s never striking out with,” Mueller said. “He’s always available, he’s always open, I think he’d be a great advantage.”