Our Scouting Report Series continues where we break down the top prospects for the 2021 NFL draft. Today, we are talking about one of the best hybrid tight end projects of all time. Before you go on, be sure to check out any of our previous scouting reports you might have missed!

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Justin FieldsN/AJa’Marr ChaseN/APenei SewellN/AN/AN/APatrick Surtain IIN/A
Zach Wilson DeVonta Smith     Caleb Farley 
Trey Lance  

Measurables and Numbers 

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 246 pounds

A look at Kyle Pitts’ College Performance

Kyle Pitts was a four-star recruit out of Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Shockingly, Pitts was the 154th overall high school recruit in the nation according to ESPN and 111th from 247 Sports. Kyle Pitts chose to take his talents to Florida over Alabama, Miami and Penn State. Fun fact: Kyle Pitts played defensive end in High School and notched four tackles, two interceptions and a touchdown reception in the state championship game his senior season.

Despite showing minimal impact his true freshman season at Florida (3 receptions, 73 yards and one TD), it was his sophomore year where Kyle Pitts took the league by storm. Playing alongside a deep rotation of solid receivers in Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain and Trevon Grimes, it didn’t stop Kyle Pitts from cementing himself as one of the country’s biggest playmakers. Kyle Pitts flashed his potential in 2019, when he finished with 54 receptions for 649 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Domination is the most appropriate word when it comes to explaining Kyle Pitts during the 2020 season. In just 8 games, Pitts pulled in 43 receptions, 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. To simplify just how dominant he was, if you were to expand Pitts’ numbers into a typical season we’re talking a monster season of over 1,200 yards and 20 touchdown. Unbelievable.

Kyle Pitts showed he was a complete prospect during his junior season. He showcased his speed blowing by defensive backs, an uber advanced route tree and an elite ability to utilize his size and dominate at the catch point. Watching Pitts vs college defenders was borderline laughable at times. Quite simply, Kyle Pitts looked like a man among boys vs the very best of the SEC on a weekly basis.

Current Draft Projection

  1. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler – 5th (Bengals)
  2. NFL Analyst Daniel Jeremiah – 6th (Eagles)
  3. John Clayton – 11th (Giants)
  4. CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso – 6th (Eagles)

Strengths

Big Time Playmaker: It’s Kyle Pitts’ elite size, speed and acceleration for a tight end that is most noticeable while watching tape. Despite standing at 6’6, Pitts has elite burst out of his breaks to create separation on the line and flies into the secondary with finesse. Pitts moves more like a wide receiver than tight end, as he’s incredibly smooth and fluid in and out of his routes. This is hands down one of the biggest weapons on 50-50 balls I’ve ever seen at the college level. Pitts routinely grabbed catches over his defenders. He thrives in the red zone. It’s Pitts combination of elite size, speed and immense catch radius that will immediately make him one of the best red zone threats in the NFL the second he puts on an NFL jersey.

Kyle Pitts’ Stats – 12 Rec TDs (1st) – 770 Rec Yds (1st) – 96.2 Rec Yds/Gm (1st)
Kyle Pitts had zero drops on 49 catchable targets in 2020.
He was the 1st tight end to finish in the Top-10 of the Heisman Trophy Award voting since 1977 when Ken MacAfee of Notre Dame placed 3rd in 1977.
Kyle Pitts had 5 touchdowns of 20+ yards downfield, the most among all tight ends last season
39 of Kyle Pitts 43 receptions went for first downs last season

Versatile & Explosive Route Runner: The team that selects Kyle Pitts in the NFL Draft must be prepared to utilize a creative mind. This is way more than your standard tight end prospect. This is an elite prospect who can line up in the slot, the x and even the backfield. It’s this level of versatility that makes him such an intriguing fit in the NFL where mismatches in the red zone are everything in today’s NFL. As a route runner, he’s a smooth runner who can sink his hips, maximize receiving windows and get chunks of yards after the catch. Kyle Pitts rarely saw coverage he couldn’t beat at the college level. Pitts’ versatility and route running make him a matchup nightmare vs opposing defenses.

How Kyle Pitts lined up in 2020: Tight end snaps: 261 Wide receiver snaps: 40
Explosive plays as a TE (15+ yards): 16 … Explosive plays as a WR (15+ yards): 7
According to PFF, Kyle Pitts had a grade of 89.5 when lined up out wide or in the slot, the highest of any tight end last season

Areas to Improve Upon

Needs Coaching as a Blocker: This one is iffy, because it depends on whether he’ll be utilized as a tight end or big wide receiver at the next level. Assuming he’ll be utilized as a tight end, then Pitts’ biggest area of concern includes his blocking. While he consistently shows effort here, Kyle Pitts will require coaching to improve his technique as a blocker in the running and passing game. Whichever teams selects him will certainly look to help him gain strength and better technique in this area as he’ll likely get pushed around by NFL-level edge rushers. It should be noted that Kyle Pitts has reported added 7 pounds of muscle since the 2020 season ended in order to improve himself as a blocker in the NFL.

Best Fits

Kyle Pitts is currently projected as a top ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is an offensive weapon with translatable tools that should allow him to dominate on day one at the next level. Offensive schemes will clearly dictate how high Kyle Pitts is taken in this year’s draft. Let’s take a look at which NFL teams would be best suited for this incredible playmaking tight end prospect.

New England Patriots

The idea of Bill Belichick getting such a versatile and exciting, offensive weapon is pitch perfect for Kyle Pitts’ skillset. Some might even call this the second coming of Gronk. The Patriots currently have the 15th pick and would perhaps need to slightly trade up to select Kyle Pitts. This is a team with a ton of questions on offense, most notably at quarterback. However, no one knows the importance of an elite tight end like Belichick and if the stars align, this could be a home run draft for the New England Patriots.

Washington Football Team

Logan Thomas was a breakout player in 2020 but he’s 29 years old and not getting younger. However, he was the 4th most targeted tight end in the league last year (6.9). The Washington Football Team was 17th in red zone scoring (58.9%) and 23rd in red zone touchdowns per game (2.8), an area where Kyle Pitts thrives. Washington currently has the 19th pick in the draft so they would clearly need to trade up. The Washington Football Team was dead last in the NFL in yards per completion (9) and Kyle Pitts is the offensive playmaker they crave.

Carolina Panthers

Last year’s draft class heavily addressed their needs on defense (7 defensive selections). In this year’s draft, it’s clear that it’s time for Matt Rhule to address the other side of the ball. The Panthers definitely have other needs to address this high in the draft (8th pick). However, the Panthers’ red zone offense was 28th best last season (50.8%) and the tight end spot in general was a disappointment in 2020. The Panthers could choose to find a veteran to add to the roster, but getting an elite prospect like Pitts has to be on the table.