The NFL draft is the ultimate lottery.
Franchises put their reputations and dollars on the line in selecting the next big breakout stars based on what they accomplished in their college careers.
With COVID-19 curtailing or cancelling the 2020 season, it becomes even harder to predict how good the college players can be at the professional level.
Kyle Pitts is one of those players who has all of the tools and talents.
He is a tight end for the University of Florida.
He played one full season in 2019, and two shortened ones in 2018 and 2020.
However, his 2020 season, consisting of just 8 games, was his finest.
Highest-graded player in 2020
🐊 Kyle Pitts – 96.2pic.twitter.com/5bbrBMXF5x
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 13, 2021
He scored 12 touchdowns while catching 43 passes and accumulating 770 yards.
Pitts earned the 2020 John Mackey Award given to college football’s best tight end, and he was named an All-American.
How good can Pitts be in the NFL?
He Could Be Great
Great tight ends are not plentiful in the NFL; there are usually one or two per generation.
Tony Gonzalez, retired from the Atlanta Falcons, was one of the best ever.
Antonio Gates, retired from the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, was also a great one.
Both Gonzalez and Gates played 15+ years at a high level.
Pitts is talented and could be one of those generational tight ends.
The latest mock drafts project that Pitts will stay in The Sunshine State and be drafted by the Miami Dolphins early in the first round (6th overall).
"You hear you can't draft a Tight End that high..
But he's the best Tight End I've ever evaluated who happens to also just be an unbelievably great kid so I don't think you can go wrong however high he goes just take him"@MoveTheSticks on Kyle Pitts #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/7sMuVcOcBE
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) April 16, 2021
Pitts could be a great asset to Tua Tagalovia who is still growing into the QB1 position.
He is 6’6″ and 245 pounds.
Tony Pauline of The Pro Football Network says he is a tight end in a wide receiver’s body.
“Quickly releases off the line into pass routes, extends to make the reception away from his frame, and looks the ball into his hands. Tracks the ball in the air, displays outstanding timing, and comes away with the difficult grab.”
Kyle Pitts never dropped a pass in the redzone at Florida (31 targets) pic.twitter.com/LsCQTWJBkv
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 12, 2021
According to Pauline, an area where Pitts can improve to become an elite NFL tight end is with his blocking.
Florida’s TE Coach Tim Brewster On Pitts
Tim Brewster coached Pitts and scouted Antonio Gates at Kent State.
He is not hesitant to draw comparisons between the two.
Brewster also believes that Pitts is a generational tight end.
“I’ve probably talked to all 32 teams at this point about Kyle Pitts and I think he’s a generational player. Antonio Gates I thought would be the absolute best player I’ve ever coached. Amazing to think he’ll be a first-ballot Hall of Famer and I had him his first three years in the National Football League.”
“But my feeling about Kyle Pitts is, you know, is that he’s 6-6, 245 pounds, probably runs 4.5 [seconds in the 40-yard dash], maybe he’ll run better,” he continued. “Catch radius, hands, he’s got the absolute total package … There’s just, there’s no holes in the kid. The development that he made in the run game to make him a more complete tight end I think just totally helped him in the eyes of the National Football League.”