*Walt taking 2014 and 2018
Charlie Campbell, Senior Draft Analyst
Some Teams See Pitts at WR and as Second-best Player in 2021 NFL DraftUpdated Jan. 25, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
With the 2021 NFL Draft class coming into focus with players declaring early, NFL teams are able to stack their draft boards by grade and order the players regardless of position. One of the players with the most buzz in the scouting community is Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. Sources from three teams say they have Pitts as the No. 2-rated player in the 2021 NFL Draft behind only Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. They also believe Pitts could play wide receiver as well as tight end as a pro.
“Pitts is a generational talent and really is a positionless player. We think he runs well enough to play wide receiver and think he could be a poor man’s Calvin Johnson at wideout,” said one director of college scouting. “On top of being a freak athlete, he’s a great kid and hard worker. So you know he’s safe to pan out into being a special player when you combine his intangibles with his rare skill set.
Sources at multiple teams said Pitts is a high intangible player and teams will love having him in their building with his work ethic along with being a good teammate. It would make sense for Pitts to pursue being listed as a wide receiver in the NFL because those players get paid more than tight ends. That designation would be especially valuable for a franchise tag and when it comes time to negotiate his second contract. His NFL team also might want to protect Pitts from injury by lining him up wide and reducing how much he has to block defensive linemen and linebackers. Team sources noted that while Pitts is not a great blocker, he is willing, fights, and gives a good effort.
While those three teams thought Pitts ran well enough to play wide receiver, sources from four other teams disagreed, calling Pitts just a tight end. They feel Pitts is an elite tight end prospect, and worthy of going as top-10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they did not feel he was fast enough to play wide receiver in the NFL.
“[Pitts] is a stud and has a chance to be the next great pass-receiving tight end,” said a director of college scouting. “The physical composition is there. The athletic ability and speed is there as well. Matching up against him is going to be a nightmare. All that said, he is a generational talent at the tight end position.”
A national scout said some thing similar, “[Pitts] will stay at tight end be a potential All-Pro. Second-overall prospect is possible, and he’s definitely top five. He’s a taller, longer Travis Kelce with a little less bulk. Positional value is only thing that is working against him, but he will still go top 10.”
Another director of scouting had a Hall of Famer in mind as well when watching Pitts, “I think Pitts will run well, but he will be a tight end, and could end up being a Tony Gonzalez-type tight end.”
Sources at all seven teams were in agreement that Pitts is definitely worthy of a top-10 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, and all believed it wouldn’t be a reach to take him with a top-5 pick. They all said Pitts graded out higher than other recent top-20 tight end prospects like T.J. Hockenson, Eric Ebron and O.J. Howard. Considering there are teams that have Pitts as their second-highest graded player, he has a real shot at going as a top-5 choice, and it sounds unlikely that he will fall past of the top 10.