TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

TE Kyle Pitts, Florida* (6’5”, 245)

Background:

Following a freshman season in which he caught three passes, stepped into a major role as a sophomore, catching 54-649-5 (12.0) before breaking out further as a junior, totaling 43-770-12 (17.9) in just eight games before entering the draft.

Positives:

Comes with two seasons of high-end, escalating production. Has the type of physical and athletic profile teams look for, allowing him to create mismatches; too tall for defensive backs to cover, too fast for linebackers to stick with. Smooth accelerator who is capable of threatening defenses down the seams, possessing impressive top-end speed; runs like a wide receiver. Dips his shoulder under chips when releasing from a tight alignment. Has quick feet and snaps off routes better than most other tight ends. Has the footwork to release against press coverage when split out. Uses an effective swim move to get inside positioning at the route stem. Provides a huge target for his quarterback. Very flexible player who can track and pluck throws away from his frame, adjusting to suboptimal passes. Works back to throws and can go low to scoop passes. Strong hands to secure catches in traffic. Blocking can be an adventure, but not necessarily for a lack of functional strength, physicality, or competitiveness. Delivers some solid crack blocks from motion. Shows good extension and leg drive when engaged. Willing to throw a shoulder when retained in protection on passing downs.

Negatives:

On the thinner side for a pro tight end. Takes few snaps as an inline Y with his hand in the dirt. Run blocking leaves something to be desired; has a tendency to fall off of blocks by getting his weight too far forward. Not always blocking from a solid foundation, causing him to get knocked off-balance. Has quick feet but can go through his breaks a little bit high at times.

Summary:

One of the most athletically gifted weapons in this year’s draft class, combining smooth movement skills, excellent flexibility and body control, a massive catch radius, and impressive top-end speed, traits which should make him very difficult for all but the most freakish linebackers and defensive backs to cover at the pro level. A true chess piece who can line up in different looks to get favorable matchups, allowing him to blow past linebackers on seam routes, and to bully opposing defensive backs when split out. A likely top ten pick, potentially even a top-five selection.

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