Eagles Draft Profiles: Tight End Kyle Pitts
Florida tight end Kyle Pitts might be the biggest benefactor of the NFL Draft hype machine this season, and for a good reason. He is genuinely a fantastic player and worth a projected top 10 pick. With that hype machine, though, a player’s truths are often stretched, and traits become falsified. I wouldn’t be upset if the Eagles decided to go with Pitts. The only scenario I wouldn’t consider him is if Ja’Marr Chase was still on the board, which many Eagles fans would likely agree with that.
Several things have enamored Eagles fans with Pitts. First, he is a Philly product. Kyle was born in Philadelphia and attended PA high school juggernaut Archbishop Wood. Wood has produced several NFL talents, including current Carolina Panthers TE Colin Thompson. From a talent standpoint, the biggest takeaway is Pitts’ athleticism. He stands at 6’5 and weighs 240 pounds, and is one of the most significant genetic freaks at tight end in recent memory. Pitts’ senior year at Florida was incredible, having over 770 yards receiving in just eight games and 12 touchdowns.
Looking at other tight ends, Pitts stands at roughly the same height as Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert, and George Kittle. With no NFL combine to precisely determine, Pitts is expected to run a slightly faster 40 times than the guys above, with somewhere around a 4.55 to a 4.6 40. Some have compared his speed to Darren Waller, but I don’t think he’s as quick as Waller is, who ran a 4.46 40 time during his combine.
The traits are all there to be a successful tight end, but like said above, the hype machine is pushing those boundaries. Many are claiming Pitts to be a game-breaking tight end, to be a sort of positionless wideout. During his time at Florida, Pitts did well on the outside, but the sample size of that is too small to determine the success in the NFL, only having 40 snaps out wide. Choosing a player’s future off of a few drives’ worth of snaps is over the top, and there needs to be more film against better opponents to decide if Pitts is physically able to do play out wide consistently.
Alongside that, college secondaries are easier to play against, especially at Pitt’s size. Pitts could see time at X or Z in the NFL, but it wouldn’t be an often occurrence. Teams would likely always have a safety over the top, and defenses would shut down Pitts’ production out wide significantly. Only Rob Gronkowski has been often used in a wideout situation, but Pitts is not as big as Gronk is with a slight dip in athleticism as well.
The best way to utilize Pitts would be in a 12 personnel on steroids. Lining Pitts alongside Goedert would be a linebacker and safety’s nightmare. Having both these guys over the middle would create significant mismatches. If you sent Pitts or Dallas on a go route off the line in a cover two with both Reagor and Fulgham out wide, that’s a match made in heaven. If Pitts were used often out wide, the best way to utilize him would be in 10-15 yard routes, preferable corners or outs. These routes would allow Pitts to have that size advantage over the cornerback but the safety not being all over the play.
Having Pitts and Goedert on the LOS simultaneously is a definite scary sight, but it isn’t the top priority for the Eagles at six. If Ja’Marr chase is there, he needs to be selected no if, ands, or buts. Compared to other wideouts, One could consider Jaylen Waddle, but I’d prefer to trade back if that is who you want. Between Pitts and Devonta Smith, though, Pitts is a much safer and overall better choice.
There are many exciting options at six, and Pitts has put himself near the top of that list of late. He is going to be an All-Pro player in a few years and be a top-five tight end in the NFL. While Kyle isn’t the top option with the pick, he is close. Taking Pitts would be a massive boost to this offense and give a dominant TE duo for several years and arguably the best 12 personnel ever in a few years. But people need to remember the limitations of who Pitts is and not get too excited for a player that he is just not.
Mandatory Credit: AP Photo