Background & Stats
Kyle Pitts, an All American out of Archbishop Wood High School in Philadelphia, entered the college football landscape as a four-star recruit. At the time, Brevin Jordan was a five-star recruit and more sought after than Pitts. Fast forward three years and Pitts is the unanimous top NFL prospect among tight ends and one of the best tight end prospects we have seen in years.
Pitts played sparingly in his Freshman season before breaking out in his Sophomore campaign when he registered 54 receptions for 649 yards and five touchdowns. Pitts put himself on the map as a truly elite prospect and, as such, was a Coaches All-SEC first-team selection, an AP All-SEC first-team selection, and a Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalist. While the hype around Pitts ballooned heading into his junior season, he did not disappoint. In just eight games, he notched 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. As a result, Pitts finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting, the first time a tight end has finished in the top 10 in 43 years. The accolades are nearly endless for Pitts.
- Mackey Award Winner
- Biletnikoff Award Finalist
- CFPA Tight End Trophy winner
- Top-10 Heisman Trophy voting finisher
- Unanimous first-team All-American
- Coaches’ All-SEC first-team selection
- Associated Press All-SEC first-team selection
- Walter Camp Player of the Year Semifinalist
- Maxwell Award Semifinalist
- Height: 6’6”
- Weight: 240
- Age: 20.4
- Breakout Age: 18.9
Pitts emphatically checks all the boxes in this category, ranking in the 95th percentile with his 18.9 breakout age. His 32.3% college dominator ranks in the 91st percentile, and his 17.9 yards per reception rank in the 96th percentile. He possesses a rare combination of size, speed, agility, and ball skills that we often don’t see at the position, even in the golden age of receiving tight ends.
Pitts dominated the competition at Florida, not an easy task in the SEC. But it’s not hard to see why. Pitts obviously has the size, but he is an excellent route runner, possesses wide receiver speed, has an abnormal catch radius, wins contested catches, and is great at adjusting with the ball in the air. Here we see him fight off the defender, adjust to the low and outside throw and make the grab.
In the same game, we also get a chance to see Pitts’ ability to go up and win a contested catch in the end zone, with multiple defenders draped all over him.
Another contested catch with reservations for six.
At this point, it is an expectation that tight ends of this size win contested catches. What we don’t see as often, however, is the ability to track the ball and make an over the shoulder grab down the sideline with a defender face guarding. This catch gives me Darren Waller vibes.
I could watch and post highlights of Pitts’ game all day long, but you get the point. Pitts is an elite receiver playing tight end who is truly always open even if he’s covered. He displays great burst out of his breaks and can run a full route tree, whether inline or spread out wide. Whoever drafts Pitts will have the ability to move him all around the formation, giving an offense flexibility and an opportunity to create mismatches across the field.
There’s not much to say here, as there is no single weakness in Pitts’s ability as a receiver. As with most receiving tight ends, his blocking is what needs work. He is a willing blocker and has shown the ability to do it, but it’s certainly not an area in which he excels. This is irrelevant to fantasy, but it could affect his ability to stay on the field. However, he will not be drafted for his blocking ability, and the team that selects him will have a plan for him.
This play results in a touchdown, but you can see Pitts searching for somebody to block and missing an opportunity to check 44.
Pitts does a fine job when he is matched up one on one with a defender and can set his feet, but he struggles when asked to pull or when he gets to the second level. Again, this is common with receiving tight ends entering the NFL, but hopefully, he can improve here.
If you built a tight end in a lab, it would be Kyle Pitts. Maybe LeBron James. The point is that Pitts is an elite prospect with very few weaknesses. He is the best prospect in the class at his specific position and immediately becomes a top 10 dynasty tight end when he is drafted, and I will have him as high as tight end four or five. Rookie tight ends notoriously struggle to pick up the nuances of the NFL, but Pitts is rare, and I believe he can excel in his rookie season. Of course, the landing spot is a factor, but whoever drafts him will have a plan to utilize him.
I see a lot of Darren Waller in Pitts’ game, with the size, speed, route-running ability, and soft hands. We’ve seen the impact Waller has had on his team and the fantasy football landscape, and I expect a similar impact from Kyle Pitts.
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