Sitting with the fourth overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons are very prime. With the first three teams essentially selecting quarterbacks, this means our pick starts the real draft.
But what should the Atlanta Falcons do with the pick?
Should they draft Matt Ryan’s replacement? How about trading down with a team looking for a quarterback, like the Broncos or the Football Team.
With reports circling about the team being open to trading this pick, the possibilities are high and wide.
Yet, there’s one name being thrown around which, to some people, might be one piece too high to pass up: Gators tight end Kyle Pitts.
No matter where one gets their draft coverage, the constant is there: Pitts is undoubtedly the best player available not named Trevor Lawrence. With Jacksonville essentially helping Lawrence with real estate, no chance the former Clemson quarterback drops to fourth.
This brings us back to Pitts.
Scouts across the board rave about his performances, being able to high point the ball, come down in double or even triple coverage, and his football speed (the speed at which they play at, not a 40-yard dash time, per se) being off the charts.
And a former Pro Football Hall of Famer at the position, Shannon Sharpe, has even speculated about Pitts potentially traveling up I-75 from Gainesville to Atlanta.
Listen to what Sharpe says about Pitts’s potential as an NFL tight end.
The Atlanta Falcons offense becomes the best in the NFL with the addition of Kyle Pitts.
Sharpe speaks legitimate truth here about Pitts – if he is added to the Atlanta Falcons offense, it’s hard to figure out how defenses will stop the passing attack. It’s already tough enough when they have to stop Julio Jones when he’s on the field.
Then we look towards Calvin Ridley, who will be on his fifth-year option next year and is more than deserving of an extension. Ridley’s route running is arguably the smoothest in the league, and do we forget that insane catch against New Orleans? Or how about him having the most 100-yard receiving games last season, and that was without Julio commanding respect.
Next, it’s the inside guys. Hayden Hurst was well worth the Falcons’ price to get his services, even pairing him up with the player drafted after him in the draft.
Adding a player of Pitts’ caliber to this offense will enable a lot of two-tight end packages, which can open up the play-action and running games (the latter still anemic for now).
Finally, we reach the man calling the plays, new head coach Arthur Smith. The Falcons gave Smith a chance after seeing not only his history of paying dues in the league but also what he did in revitalizing Ryan Tannehill’s career.
Granted, yes, Smith did have a monster in the backfield in Derrick Henry, but Tannehill did lead the NFL in passer rating in the time Smith was the Titans’ offensive coordinator.
As with most draft picks, it’s hard to truly say whether or not they’re going to pan out. It’s essentially playing darts blindfolded after a few brewskis.
That said, if Pitts goes to the Falcons fourth overall, with the offense as elite as it currently is, not only will it guarantee the team a chance at competing in the division, but Sharpe might be right: good night, Irene.