Scouting Report: TE Kyle Pitts 6’6” 246 (Florida)
40-yard time: 4.44 (sportingnews.com)
Film Exposure: (2020) vs. South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Ole Miss, Missouri and additionally film of every reception he made during the season.
Hybrid athletic wide receiver in a tight end’s body with tall lanky strong muscular frame and good hands and playing speed. Big dominant target downfield. Productive. Reminds me of a power forward in basketball playing tight end. Reminds me of a cross between Aaron Hernandez without the baggage and Shannon Sharpe. Excellent natural receiving skills and he is a decent blocker who works at it. Catches the ball like a wide receiver. Lines up tight to the line of scrimmage and is a mismatch nightmare due to playing speed and athleticism down the seams against linebackers and safeties. Can split out in the slot or wide outside and creates a mismatch nightmare against smaller corners due to size and physicality. Good, but not sure hands. In 2020, put up 43 receptions for 770 yards, 17.9 avg., 12 TD with a long of 71. In 2019, put up 54 receptions for 649 yards, 12.0 avg., 5 TD and a long of 32. The thing that concerned me was he was targeted 67 times in 2020 and grabbed 43. In 2019, he was targeted 79 times and came down with 54. He did not catch some I thought he should have caught watching the film. However, overall he is impressive and catches his fair share. It is just something that stood out to me. Demonstrative. Emotional. Lets everyone know it when he makes a big play. I like he was able to string together two productive seasons in college. Showed consistency in a starting role.
Kyle Pitts gets into his routes quickly or he can block and then release. Can get up the seams in a hurry. Excels on those routes and quick slants and shallow crossing routes. Good bend and hip flexibility, causes him to be able to break off routes and look crisp doing so. Has good wiggle and bend to his body movements at full speed He can really snap it off at the breakpoint on slant routes and looks really good doing it. Does an excellent job using his size to his advantage? Sits down well in coverage and makes receptions. Uses size to shield. Very good at using strength and hands to swim inside and create route leverage and enough separation. Difficult to cover. Difficult to defend. Battles for the ball in tight coverage and can make a grab with coverage draped all over him. Can also drive a defensive back downfield and turn back for the ball very effectively. Pitts is not elusive after the catch, but he is tough and will run until the defense can stop him. Decent YAC (yards after the catch). Adjusts well to the ball on the move. Natural-looking receiver. Looks the ball into his hands, but it seems like he can lose his concentration at times. Seems to have momentary lapses of concentration that cause him to not catch some he should have. Has a knack for getting open or just using his big frame to box out like a basketball player down in the paint. Physical. Ultra competitive. Plucks the ball out of the air with his long arms and very strong hands. Gives off a dominant vibe working short to intermediate route levels. The thing that makes him so good at these route levels is his size combined with his dominant physicality and great athletic ability. He looks like a man among boys and at times looks like he is toying with defenders. He just wants it more than the defenders and it shows. Pitts also clears things out for other receivers coming through his area. Very dangerous short to intermediate.
Pitts can also get deep. Has excellent playing speed and can run past the secondary and run away from defenders after the catch. Home-run hitting ability deep. Even in double coverage, he can sometimes come down with the ball. Good focus deep. Adjusts very well to the ball deep. Looks like a wide receiver when the ball is in the air. Soft breadbasket for the ball to drop into when he is in full stride.
He is a decent run blocker. He gives a solid effort and works at it. Wins some and loses some. Adequate blocker. The real value to this is going to be the ability to sneak him off the block into a route which is something he did well at Florida.
Pitts is going to be a superstar tight end in the NFL. I can see him going as high as #4 to the Atlanta Falcons if they do not trade out. He is that good. He will dominate the tight end position and make several Pro Bowls. Hybrid who is going to create real headaches for NFL defenses due to the mismatches he creates from a game-planning standpoint. He is going to be very difficult for NFL corners to contend with and also way too athletic and fast for linebackers and safeties to contend with. Pitts plays like he is pissed off. Kyle Pitts has a big chip on his shoulder that will propel him to greatness. He will command a lot of respect from defenses and probably draw double teams, which will open up other areas of opportunity for the offense he plays on. He is someone defenses will constantly have to be aware of. Pitts is a game-changing difference-maker.
Daniel Kelly’s Draft Board: First Round (Top 5).
Probability of being a bust: Extremely low.
If I were a GM, this is the question I need to be answered in my mind about Kyle Pitts: Can he keep from getting personal with the opposing team (like he did on social media with Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver)?
My Top 3 concerns about Pitts:
- A number of times targeted versus a number of receptions 2019 and 2020. The margin of missed opportunities is too large for someone with his ability.
- Is the reason for that margin he lacks concentration in those situations?
- Can he control his emotions? Seems to almost like shove it in the defense’s face at times.
How NFL defenses can beat him: Out physical him at the line of scrimmage before he can release and use his speed, athleticism and receiving skills to beat defenses. Mix it up by playing more zone coverage against him to play the ball more than reacting to his moves while running routes.
Daniel Kelly is a former NFL scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated Detroit Lions and he is a contributing evaluator for Draft Diamonds. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @danielkellybook and his Facebook page is WHATEVER IT TAKES NFL TALK.
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