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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: TE Kyle Pitts

  • The Draft Network
  • December 19, 2020
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PROSPECT SUMMARY

As a former quarterback, Kyle Pitts’ journey to tight end started one day at summer football camp while at Temple. Moved to tight end in an experimental role, his future remained there following that day. At Florida, he became a focal point of the team’s offense. From multiple platforms he proved to be a dominant option in the passing game as well as a serviceable threat as a run blocker. At 6-foot-6, he plays just as big as his size indicates. More in the role of a big receiver, Pitts can align outside, in the slot, or place his hand in the dirt in-line. As an F tight end, his combination of size, athleticism, and hands makes him a multi-level threat for creative offensive coordinators. As a run blocker, he’s sustainable and willing as a one-on-one blocker, but also isn’t afraid to get his face dirty in the box, either. Pitts will need to go to a team that can use him in creative ways with an outside-the-box thinker orchestrating the offense that allows his assets to shine.

Ideal Role: Pitts is best served to be cross-trained as both a wide receiver and tight end as he has lots of value at both spots on the depth chart.

Scheme Fit: The former Gator’s best scheme fit is as an “F” tight end, which means he’s used outside, in the slot, and in-line in multiple ways in both the running and passing game.

FILM EVALUATION

Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Ole Miss (2020), Kentucky (2020), Texas A&M (2020), Tennessee (2020), Georgia (2020), Alabama (2020)

Best Game Studied: Ole Miss (2020), Kentucky (2020), Tennessee (2020)

Worst Game Studied: Texas A&M (2020)

Hands: Pitts has sure hands that enable him to climb the ladder and pluck the ball out of the air. With a wide catch radius, even when passes are inaccurate or in other zip codes than where his body is headed, he has the body control to alter those movements and position his body to get within reach of ball paths.

Route Running: “Big receiver” will be a common label associated with Pitts and he has the qualities of being exactly that. With a massive and lengthy frame, he often can be mistaken for a 6-foot-6 wide receiver. His ability to sink and get in and out of breaks are natural, but there’s room for growth with his precision at the time of route stems. Despite that, he’s often able to create ample amounts of separation because of his natural athleticism and strength in routes.

Versatility: Pitts has the ability to align at any spot in a formation and have a profound impact. As an outside receiver, he has the IQ and athleticism necessary to win against cornerbacks, but he’s a true matchup problem in the slot where he causes lots of troubles for outside linebackers, strong safeties, and nickel corners because of his frame, wide catch radius, and length. Pitts’ blocking isn’t bad enough to call it a weakness, as he’s unafraid to play in-line and mix it up with defensive ends as the end man on the line of scrimmage. While he won’t generate a considerable amount of movement, his feet remain active, and he keeps his body in positions to create winning run lanes for ball carriers. 

Competitive Toughness: As a blocker, Pitts isn’t a liability by any stretch of the imagination. His competitiveness shines as he’s often asked to hold up against edge rushers in full slide and man-to-man protections. As a route-runner, he was frequently tasked with defeating man coverage. During those occurrences, he proved to be an ultra competitor as he uses his hands, feet, and technique to keep defenders from getting a beat on his routes. 

Ball Skills: Pitts possesses exceptional hands that enable him to be a featured option in the passing game. Without a top floor on his elevator, he’s able to sky over defenders at the catch point as he enters floors that aren’t even available to the opposition. Pitts is able to snag passes out of the air well before the ball enters into possible areas where the defender can have an effect on it. 

Football IQ: Because he played in so many different alignments for the Gators and had success throughout his career, his ability to get properly aligned, play fast, and become one of the most dangerous weapons in the country takes high amounts of intelligence in order to succeed on a weekly basis.

RAC Ability: Having the speed and elusiveness of a shifty receiver, Pitts is able to bob and weave his way through defenses. A player that’s tough to bring down because of his long legs and speed to match, he’s as strong after the catch as he is at the catch point. 

Pass Protection: Pass protection isn’t an area that Pitts should be asked to do consistently, but if involved in protections with quick routes, he will experience success. Although he shouldn’t be involved in many pass protections as he should be a focal point of the team’s passing game, if running two-man route concepts that involve max protection from everyone inside the box, Pitts isn’t afraid to tussle with defensive ends or edge defenders.

Big-Play Ability: As one of the more explosive players at the position in the country and of any player at any position across the board in the draft class, Pitts adds a unique dynamic from Day 1 to a team’s passing game because of his traits and size. Even if passes are thrown poorly, he has the ability to adjust and come down with it in his grasp. The process doesn’t stop for him there, though, as he’s a player that feels as if he can score every time that he touches the ball.

Prospect Comparison: Darren Waller (2015 NFL Draft, Baltimore Ravens)

SCOUT GRADES

TDN Consensus: 90.63/100

Joe Marino: 92.50/100

Kyle Crabbs: 91.50/100

Jordan Reid: 91.00/100

Drae Harris: 88.00/100

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