As NFL offenses become more and more innovative, the need to have a traditional tight end is becoming less and less of a priority. Less emphasis is being placed on blocking, and it’s being reallocated to the receiving output that can come from that position on the field.
As we’ve seen what Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, Mark Andrews, etc., can do for their respective teams, the appeal for those types of players has increased exponentially over the past few seasons. If you were to take a poll across the NFL and ask offensive coordinators if they would love to have a player like Waller in their offense, 10 times out of 10, they’re going to say yes.
That next receiving weapon at the tight end position is about to enter the NFL, and he’s a 6’6″, 246 lb athlete out of Florida. Kyle Pitts is one of the most purely talented prospects to come out in recent history, and the upside that he has is simply ridiculous. He has the athletic traits to be moved all over the formation and be a valuable mismatch wherever he lines up.
Typically, tight ends that are transitioning to the NFL level usually take a couple of years to make an impact. Kyle Pitts has the potential to reach All-Pro status at the tight end position in year one. The talent level is there, but now it’s just a matter of determining where exactly he ends up.
What makes Pitts such a valuable offensive weapon, though? How should he be valued for fantasy football?
Those questions are answered here in our scouting profile for Pitts:
Kyle Pitts, Florida
Weight: 245 lbs.
Arms: 33 1/2
Hands: 10 5/8
40-Yard Dash: 4.44
Vertical Jump: 34
Broad Jump: 129
Bench: 22 Reps
Short Shuttle: 4.30
3-Cone Drill: 7.12
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Route Running (79): Pitts is arguably the best player (regardless of position) in the 2021 NFL Draft class. He’s a man amongst boys playing in the SEC, and he could very easily enter into the top five NFL tight end conversation the minute he gets drafted. He’s an incredible and diverse route-runner capable of lining up all over the formation. He can be lined up in-line as a blocker and run a deep post, or he can line up out wide and run comebacks.
Movability (82): Possesses an unexplainable ability to sink in and out of his routes for a player that is 250 pounds. He’s able to shift his momentum like a player 40 pounds lighter. He’s incredibly fluid in the open field.
Hands (81): Phenomenal hands in the receiving game. Able to reel in passes with incredible hand-eye coordination and then go up and high point the football with ease.
Contested Catch Ability (80): Can make contested catches look routine. Able to use his size as a mismatch over smaller defenders deep downfield or even over bigger linebackers. There are going to be very few defenders that will be able to match Pitts in contested catch situations at the NFL level.
Run After Catch Ability (82): Unnatural RAC ability and has ridiculous burst to pull away after the catch. Also has the strength and size to bully defenders off of him.
In-Line Blocking (74): He’s also a good and capable in-line blocker. He fights hard and has enough ability to hold his own that he won’t be a liability as a blocker. However, if a coaching staff uses him primarily as a blocker, they’re misusing him.
Speed (81): Absurd speed for a player of his size. Able to pull away from defenders after the catch and can get downfield with ease. Able to throttle down his momentum well, too, and then accelerate back to top-end speed. A true unicorn of an athlete. They simply don’t make them like Pitts very often.
Who is your NFL comp for Kyle Pitts?pic.twitter.com/rWzH9dLvUc
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) March 5, 2021
KYLE. PITTS. IS. UNSTOPPABLE.
— Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) January 11, 2021
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
If positional value were taken out of the equation, Pitts would be a top-three pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. However, because he does play tight end – which is traditionally undervalued in the NFL Draft – we likely see Pitts go somewhere in the first half of the first round. The talent demands that he goes higher than that, but the positional tag will depress his value.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
If Pitts can make it all the way to the Los Angeles Chargers in the NFL Draft, that’s a match made in fantasy football heaven. Pairing Pitts with the ascending Justin Herbert would be a ton of fun to witness and would lead to incredible things for fantasy. Regardless of landing spot, Pitts should be viewed as a top-eight tight end for fantasy football in 2021. That’s how talented of a prospect he is coming out of Florida.
There really is no ideal comparison for Pitts because of just how athletic he is, but he’ll be deployed very similarly to how Darren Waller is in Las Vegas. The Raiders move Waller all over the formation, sometimes even in the X-receiver role on the outside, which is how Pitts will be used frequently. The athleticism is pretty equal, all things considered, and Pitts could easily soak up targets the way that Waller does in this offense.