2021 NFL Draft Profile: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

  • Height: 6-5; Weight: 240
  • 40 Time: 4.50
  • Projection: First round
Kyle Pitts
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

OVERVIEW

Pitts entered the 2020 season in a dead heat with Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth as the elite tight end prospect in the land, but raced by him as quickly as he did SEC defenders in a magical junior campaign which could make him a Top 10 selection – a feat accomplished by a TE just four times since the turn of the century.

After hinting at his playmaking ability as a freshman – when he had just three catches but they went for 73 yards and a touchdown – Pitts earned First Team All-SEC honors as a true sophomore in 2019, hauling in 64 passes for 649 yards and five scores.



Pitts nearly matched his gaudy touchdown total from his sophomore season in the first game of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, lighting up Mississippi for what wound up being a career-high eight catches for 170 yards and four touchdowns. He hauled in two more scores a week later against South Carolina and had a three-touchdown performance in late November against Kentucky.

Pitts finished his career in fine form in the SEC Championship game against Alabama, hauling in seven catches for 129 yards and a score, albeit in a losing effort. Despite sitting out the Cotton Bowl and missing three other contests due to a concussion, was a runaway winner for the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end.

Strengths

  • Absolute matchup nightmare, possessing a blend of size, agility, acceleration, body control and sticky hands.
  • Glides off the line of scrimmage like a wide receiver, forcing both linebackers and safeties on their heels with his easy acceleration. Snaps out of his breaks, generating instant separation.
  • Even when defenders are seemingly in position to defend him, height, wingspan and body control allow him to make circus grabs over opponents, stealing passes above the rim or beyond the sideline.
  • Possesses rare mobility skills for a player of his height, showing the ability to make defenders miss in tight quarters and the speed to break away for explosive gains.
  • While far from a mauler as a blocker, shows functional strength and technique in this area, as well as competitiveness.

Weaknesses

  • With broad shoulders and hips and a relatively lanky frame, he has room to get stronger without a significant loss of speed.
  • Missed three games last year due to a concussion and surgery on his nose following a brutal (and ruled illegal) hit against Georgia, sitting out against Arkansas and Vanderbilt contests. He returned for two games (Kentucky, Tennessee) before missing the LSU game due to an undisclosed injury, which obviously requires a closer look by NFL medical teams.
  • Relatively lanky frame suggests that durability could be an issue.
  • More athletic than aggressive in terms of his playing style, seeking to avoid and run by defenders than lower his shoulder and barrel through them, as some may expect of his position.

Pro Comparison

George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers: At 6-4, 250 pounds Kittle is slightly stockier but his ability to wreak havoc down the seam and sidelines makes him one of the NFL’s most uncoverable targets.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)