With the fourth overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected Kyle Pitts.
Kyle Pitts comes to the Atlanta Falcons standing at 6-foot-6 and around 260 pounds. One thing you do not expect from a guy at that size is a 4.44 forty-yard dash, yet he did just that.
Pitts comes out of Florida as a tight end who many believe is the best prospect at the position in the history of the draft. No one has seen a player with his physical attributes and his production.
Pitts running a 4.44 is extremely impressive, what is more impressive? He could have easily had a faster time. When you watch him run, you will notice how he veers off the line that he should be running straight down.
If he was able to run in more of a straight line, he would have easily run faster than that time. It may not seem like a lot but it is when you are talking about split seconds. Simply put, he is faster than a 4.44, much like Julio was much faster than his 4.39 more than a decade ago.
The new Atlanta Falcons tight end not only has the attributes, but he also has the production from his college days.
There are many players who come into the league with all of the physical attributes, but not often do you see a guy who has both production and attributes. This is the reason Pitts is the highest-drafted tight end in the history of the league.
Take, for example, Jayson, or now Odafe, Oweh, the new Baltimore Ravens pass rusher.
Oweh, coming out of Penn State, had zero sacks during this past season, yet he was still a first-round pick. The reason for that is he is 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds but yet managed to somehow run a 4.36 forty-yard dash.
How Pitts and Oweh were able to run that fast, is still unknown.
So, why was Kyle Pitts the 4th pick, but yet Oweh was the 31st pick? Production.
Pass rushers, like Oweh, are more valued in the NFL than tight ends. But like previously said, Oweh did not have good statistics this past year. He had zero sacks, 38 tackles, and 6.5 tackles for loss. Compare that to Kyle Pitts who had 43 catches, 770 yards, and a stunning 12 touchdowns.
It is easy to see why Pitts was seen as a better overall player. Not to say that Oweh does not have crazy potential, because he does, but production matters.
Kyle Pitts will add unimaginable potential to an already incredibly talented Atlanta Falcons offense.
The Atlanta Falcons truly did just draft a player who has great potential to end up in Canton one day.
The speed is obvious. Watching him you will see him running away from people. He had a long touchdown against Ole Miss, where he caught a seam pass, turned himself to stiff-arm the defender right behind him, and then turned on the jets to break away from the defender for a long touchdown.
His speed kills.
Next is his ability to catch the ball no matter where it is. Routinely he made catches that most guys just cannot make so often. He is not afraid to go up in the air with defenders around him, to catch a pass.
He makes the lowest of passes look extremely easy to catch. He is the most natural pass catcher in the draft.
One part of his game that fans should be most excited about, is how incredible he is catching back shoulder and fade routes. One play that sticks out is when he was being guarded by the new Carolina Panther, Jaycee Horn.
He was one on one on the outside against Horn. He ran a back shoulder type route, walled off Horn, and caught the ball with ease.
Jaycee Horn quite literally had no chance to defend that.
Kyle Pitts will attack the ball anywhere on the field for the Atlanta Falcons. You cannot overstate how amazing he is as a pure receiver. Pitts is the definition of being able to just throw it up and know he will find a way to come down with the ball.
The next part of his game that is simply incredible, is his route running. This is something that not many people talk about with him. He had numerous instances when he was lined up outside and simply beat the corner with a quickness.
Keep in mind that Pitts’s main position is tight end.
He can run slant routes on the one-yard line and still manage to get five yards of separation. His feet are ridiculously quick on his breaks. He just adds to an already incredible group of route running pass catchers.
Ridley is known as one of the best route runners in the league, and Julio a lot of the time is underrated in his route running. Russell Gage also has some good routes. The potential is limitless.
The one part of the game that has received criticism, is his blocking. Obviously being about 240 pounds as a tight end in the NFL is a little bit on the small size. He definitely does have a limitation as a blocker at his size, but his blocking is not as bad as some make it out to be.
First and foremost, he is willing to block. Florida had instances where he stayed in the backfield to pass protect, while his teammates ran routes. That shows you that he will not back down from that part of the game.
Pitts shows that he can block people as well, he has snaps where he is pretty effective. However, that is against college players, and often times blockers have a hard time transitioning to the NFL. But do not overreact to the people who say he cannot block. While he might not ever pancake Ricardo Allen, and then laugh in his face, he can be serviceable.
Arthur Smith will not ask him to block more than he is capable of. The new Atlanta Falcons head coach is smart and has a significant history with tight ends, he knows how to use them. He was able to use an undersized tight end, in Jonnu Smith with the Titans, and have him play extremely well.
Long story short, do not worry about Kyle Pitts blocking.
The Atlanta Falcons had a significant issue in the red zone, Kyle Pitts can make the issue into a strength.
The Atlanta Falcons 2020 red zone offense was so much worse than it ever should have been.
Plays in the red area always seemed to go wrong. A lot of it was playcalling, and a lot of it was lacking physicality. Not having the threat of Julio Jones on the outside, costed the Falcons a lot. He is the best decoy in the NFL.
Now adding Arthur Smith, one of the best red-zone play-callers in the NFL, a healthy Julio Jones, hopefully, and Kyle Pitts, who was the biggest red-zone threat in college football, should change the Falcons’ fortunes.
You have heard it before, how do you guard Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst, and now Kyle Pitts? It just seems close to impossible. Add to the fact that the Falcons also have a downhill runner in Mike Davis.
Adding Kyle Pitts could seriously make the Falcons a playoff contender. The two big factors that play into it this are if the defense can be serviceable, and how fast the team can adjust to new playbooks and coaches.
If those two things can go right, and they can stay healthy, this team could be an underdog in the playoffs.
Atlanta Falcons fans should not be one bit disappointed in the Kyle Pitts pick. If Trevor Lawrence was not in the draft then Pitts would be the best player in the draft.
Kyle Pitts might end up being the difference for the Atlanta Falcons.