Michael Pittman Jr. Will Make An Instant Impact In The NFL
WR Michael Pittman Jr., LSU
Weight: 223 pounds
40-yard dash: 4.52 seconds
Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches
Broad Jump: 121.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 6.96 seconds
USC has sneakily put out some very good WR prospects over the years. Michael Pittman Jr. is next in line and has a chance to make an immediate impact in the NFL with his skillset.
Pittman is a big-bodied receiver who excels in contested catch situations, but also has fluidity and good top-end speed. He can go up and get it, but then also has the ability to create after the catch. He showed his top-end talent this season at USC by hauling in 101 receptions for 1275 yards and 11 touchdowns. Pittman was such a focal point of the USC offense that his 101 receptions were enough to rank as the fourth most in all of CFB last season. He did that all while playing with three different starting QBs in 2019; Kedon Slovis, Matt Fink, and JT Daniels.
In a WR class that is so incredibly deep, is Pittman being slept on? Does his skillet translate well to the NFL?
Those questions are answered here in my detailed scouting report on Michael Pittman Jr. (ratings out of five stars):
At 6’4/223, Pittman has the size that NFL teams will covet in an outside receiver. He has the ability to go up and make contested catches downfield and bully corners out of the way. He combines this with a phenomenal catch radius that separates himself from some of the other wide receivers in this class. With that being said, Pittman is primarily an outside receiver. He played very few snaps in the slot in college, but a NFL team could choose to look at him and move him in the slot to be a mismatch on smaller corners. However, he’ll play the majority of his snaps on the boundary.
Michael Pittman Jr would not be denied!
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) October 20, 2019
Route Running/Ability to Separate
Pittman was rotated around the formation frequently, which allowed him to gain experience running a diverse route tree. He was used on everything from screens to curls to post routes and excelled in all of them. Not overtly shifty at the LOS, but possesses enough agility and short area quickness to keep defenders on their toes. Won’t be able to pull away from defenders at the LOS like some of the other receivers in this class, but can make up for it with his size.
USC WR Michael Pittman Jr. with the quick feet👀 pic.twitter.com/J39nK7flxi
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 21, 2020
While Pittman’s game is traditionally as a possession receiver or downfield contested catch specialist, he does have some great speed for his size. As evidenced by his 40-yard dash time, Pittman’s able to move for a larger WR prospect and he’s able to get downfield quickly. Additionally, he’s able to create after the catch with that speed, which allows him to rack up additional yardage after making the catch.
Michael Pittman Jr. extends USC’s lead 🔥
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 21, 2019
Pittman has phenomenal hands in the receiving game. He’s strong at the catch point and is able to bring down almost anything in his catch radius. He’s a natural receiver and secures the ball quickly after the reception. Additionally, he’s great in contested situations due to his size. He boxes out defenders well downfield and uses his body to shield the ball. Defenders don’t have long enough arms to reach around or above him to try to knock the ball out when he boxes out, which gives him an advantage at every level of the field.
This is where Pittman shines. Pittman’s ability to track the ball deep downfield is among the best in this class. However, he also possesses the ability to adjust to the ball while it’s in the air and come down with the difficult catch. Pittman will be a perfect addition for a young QB that can simply throw it up to him when under pressure…there’s a good chance he’s coming down with the ball.
So JT Daniels has an arm, huh?
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 14, 2018
After the Catch
As mentioned in the speed section, Pittman’s a possession receiver who can make contested catches, but he also does possess some ability after the catch. This won’t be his calling card in the NFL, of course, but he has the elusiveness and twitch to be able to make some people miss in the open field. If he’s not able to make them miss outright, he has the size to be able to drag them with him for a few additional yards.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) October 26, 2019
Projected Draft Spot
Michael Pittman Jr is a candidate to go in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft with his performance in CFB last season and his Combine testing. The teams in the middle of the second round are going to be very intriguing to see if they target Pittman. The Colts, Jets, Steelers, Cowboys, Eagles, Bills, and Dolphins all could use a player like Pittman and what he brings to the team. He’s going to be a steal for Dynasty teams that are picking in the early second round of their rookie drafts. The depth of this WR class will push him down boards, but this kid can flat out play.
As mentioned in my previous rookie profiles, I don’t believe in true comparisons. Instead, I look at the type of player they are and the role they can fill for a NFL team. When looking at Michael Pittman, I’m reminded of the role Courtland Sutton plays for the Denver Broncos. Pittman will be used frequently downfield, but also has enough size and speed to make things happen in the short to intermediate levels too.
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