Kyle Pitts has become the first of likely several former Florida Gators to come off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With the fourth overall pick, the Atlanta Falcons have chosen Pitts, the mismatch nightmare of a tight end. As a result, Pitts becomes the 357th Florida Gator to ever be selected in the NFL Draft, and the 54th Gator to ever be selected in the first round.
The name “Kyle Pitts” has struck fear in the hearts of college defensive coordinators over the past two seasons because of the natural problems his rare blend of size and speed presents. Pitts, who stands 6’6, 245 lbs., with a wingspan of 83 and 3/8 inches, has always been considered too big to simply place a cornerback on when he goes out for passes. He also runs a 4.44 40 yard dash, making him far too fast to even consider placing a linebacker on him.
The NFL may be better equipped with the defenders needed to at least somewhat slow him, but if Pitts continues to grow and refine his craft- and stays healthy- he could be a problem in the pros for a long, long time.
Pitts enjoyed a stellar 2019 season, catching 54 passes for 649 yards and five touchdowns. Somehow, voters decided that wasn’t good enough for the John Mackey Award, so Pitts returned in 2020 and put on a show that simply couldn’t be ignored. His 2020 output included 43 catches for 770 yards and a dozen touchdowns, easily earning him the Mackey Award and unanimous first team All-American status and even a top ten finish the Heisman Trophy voting– and that was despite only playing seven and a half games.
Now he’s off to Atlanta, where he’ll be an instant plug and play piece into the Falcons’ offense. In a crapshoot of a system where injuries could always theoretically derail a player’s career, I’ll say this much: if he stays healthy for long enough, Pitts is as sure a pick as anybody in this draft class to one day see his name in Canton.
Best of luck, Kyle. Thanks for all the memories. Go make the Hall of Fame.