2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Kyle Pittsby Alex Barbour February 21, 2021 5 comments
Want to know who the Quenton Nelson of tight ends is? Look no further than Kyle Pitts. With rumors that he could be the second-best wide receiver (over Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle) in this class, the hype is at an all-time high. A lingering concern remains: is it all Pitts, or is it also the Florida scheme? With his size, speed, strength, hands, and fluidity, the answer seems obvious; however, let’s take a look to see if Pitts is worth that gold jacket on day one.
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Name: Kyle Pitts
Position: Tight End
Weight: 240 lbs
Pitts’s hands are no joke. There rarely is a ball that he drops. If he does not catch a ball, either the defender is in a perfect position or Kyle Trask misplaced it. Pitts has strong hands that go out and get the ball. In other words, he is rarely a body catcher, which is great for his transition to the NFL.
Contested Catch (9.25/10)
If anyone has watched Pitts, they already know this score is going to be unreal. This scale has ten as the greatest of all time (five is average), so a 9.25 is an unreal elite talent. Pitts has amazing adjustments to the ball, creating separation when none is available. His strong hands, strong arms, and a great catch radius provide the holy grail for quarterbacks in trouble. As long as Pitts’s hands can touch the ball, he can get it. Also, he can deal with contact catching very well due to his secure hands and strength. The phrase that comes to mind is “always open.”
Overall Speed and burst (8.0/10)
This is a tough category. Pitts as a wide receiver would still have around a six here, but as a tight end (which he projects best), he has a solid 8.5. Let’s get the record straight: Pitts is no Noah Fant. This said, he has great speed for his size. Like Terrace Marshall Jr. he tends to play around 75% capacity until he turns the jets on; however, he does so in a much more efficient manner. In other words, that trait is not a red flag at all for laziness. It is just very deceptive. Pitts has shown his long speed against corners and has been able to separate well. Pitts also has great fluidity of movement, as was seen on a double move and a zig route against Kentucky. It is hard to not grade Pitts as an elite wide receiver.
Route Running (9.0/10)
Again, this category is tough to grade as a tight end because Pitts runs like a wide receiver. He has very solid footwork that he combines with his burst and strength to gain easy separation. As said before, Pitts is always open. Pitts’s one knock is that he does not deal with short routes well besides slants, but that is easily improvable. For a true junior, this kid plays like a ten-year NFL veteran. He also deploys a lethal swim move to blow past defenders. As was stated before, Pitts also is very fluid in his movement, as was seen against Kentucky with lethal double moves and zig routes.
After the Catch (6.5/10)
For once, Pitts leaves Mt. Olympus. The only real positive in his game as a runner is the fact that he has solid speed and some good strength. The contact balance is not supreme, but for a tight end, he is not too shabby with the ball in his hands. It is noteworthy that Pitts is quite slippery and will break some tackles, especially if he deploys a stiff arm.
Pitts once again looks like a true wide receiver here. He has a solid release package and great hand fighting skills. Press coverage means nothing to Pitts and his insane catch radius. In short, there is no need to press this guy just double-team him and pray for an inaccurate ball.
Pitts’s strength, size, speed, hands, and body position have been talked about enough to this point to understand this score. Notably, he does not always gain real separation with his speed. He can easily use his catch radius and body positioning to become open. Pitts also has an amazing swim move to make clean cuts in sticky coverage and increase separation Once again, Pitts is always open.
This was the biggest shock of all, hands down. Pitts is no Pat Freiermuth or Drew Sample in the run game. He will not plow people over at will; however, Pitts is an asset in the run game as a blocker. He seals the edge well, not to mention holding his own in pass protection. There were several instances where Pitts was one on one with an edge rusher and won his reps. Pitts keeps climbing up the rankings the more tape is studied.
Positional Versatility (8.5/10)
Pitts can fit anywhere on the offense as a weapon besides running back. He truly is an offensive coordinator’s dream. Pitts can play out wide, in the slot, and as a tight end. The best thing: he will play at an elite level at every one of those positions. His best role is as a true tight end that is used on certain plays at the other positions, but Pitts will have success wherever he plays.
Competitive Toughness (4.75/5)
The only things keeping this from a 5 are that he did not compete in the bowl game (which was against a solid opponent) and that he sometimes was walking around on the field. These two aspects are very nitpicky.
Pitts had a brutal injury against Georgia. The hit was very powerful and required nose surgery. Pitts came back weeks later and played at a high level.
This guy is the real deal. Pitts is a phenomenal athlete who is young and extremely versatile. The only thing that may derail his career is injuries, but it does not look like that will be the case. Pitts is pure box office, and he deserves to be in the conversation for the second pick in the draft. He is unbelievable, and his ceiling is through the roof. Pitts has been a treat to study, and soon he will be a treat to watch on Sundays.
Final Grade (83.25/100): Top 4
Player Comp: Darren Waller
Follow Alex Barbour on Twitter @alexxbarbour
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