Atlanta Falcons: Four players who were misused in 2022
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
Most of the NFL was aware of the misusage of Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts. Fantasy owners were sick and tired of the lack of production due to a lack of opportunities in the passing game.
At times it was worth wondering if Arthur Smith thought Kyle Pitts was the one who retired last offseason, not Lee Smith. It was frustrating, to say the least.
This one doesn’t need much explanation but we will dive in just a little bit. During Pitts’ rookie season, he pass-blocked on just 2.7% of passing plays, but in 2022 that number rose to 6.7%. You can live with the 2.7% because sometimes you draw up a play like a screen pass that goes the way of Cordarrelle Patterson (or others), so Pitts should be blocking, but 6.7% is just too high.
However, there is more to it than just the over-usage as a blocker, he wasn’t put in a position (partially due to QB limitations) to go out there and play like a wide receiver. Pitts was used more on the line and less out wide than during his rookie season. Sure, he is a ‘tight end’ but much like Cordarrelle Patterson, he should be used in a wide variety of ways.
Not to mention, there were hardly ever any play calls that were simply designed to get the ball in his hands. Hopefully, in 2023, Arthur Smith will have a consistent quarterback and will get back to using him as he did during both of their first seasons in Atlanta.