Kyle Pitt’s Hawk Draft: Implications for Fantasy Soccer 2021, Dynasty Outlook, Full Scouting Report, NFL Comparability
The Hawks defied history and some conventional wisdom by picking Kyle Pitts, the University of Florida’s explosive narrow end, number 4 overall. The recent history of tight-end first-round investing is sure to make NFL teams, fans, and fantasy managers a little nervous. These are the TEs selected in the first round of the last 10 design classes: Tyler Eifert (2013), Eric Ebron (2014), OJ Howard (2017), Evan Engram (2017), David Njoku (2017), Hayden Hurst ( 2018), TJ Hockenson (2019), Noah Fant (2019) – not exactly a killer series in fantasy production.
More fantasy mishaps
Even so, Pitts has skills that are completely different from literally every player on this list, and that also translates into an instant hit in today’s NFL. If you’ve used the same argument to suggest that if you have a QB playing in a weak defensive conference (e.g. the Big 12) at a school that didn’t produce great QBs (e.g. Texas Tech), Didn’t make a selection in the first round – Well then you’d have excluded Patrick Mahomes. An important rule that I learned early on was to rate the player, not the helmet.
We break down everything you need to know about Pitts from a fantasy manager’s perspective, including its 2021 impact, Dynasty outlook, metrics, scouting report, key stats, and an NFL comparison.
2021 effects on the imagination
How much should you care about the history of rookie bottlenecks? Here is the full list of the bottlenecks that have received more than 700 yards as a rookie since 1990: Jeremy Shockey and Evan Engram. That’s it. No Rob Gronkowski. Not a Travis Kelce. Of the tight ends drafted into the top 10 of the NFL draft, neither have.
“But Kyle Pitts is different,” you will say. And he’s different. Incredible college production, physical tools almost unmatched. He’s a special, special player. But … is that so much different from Vernon Davis? Ranked 6th overall after putting together one of the best combine performances of all time, arguably even more impressive Pitts’ pro day, he had just 265 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games as a rookie. The point is, it’s tough to get down to earth as a rookie in this position.
That being said … Kyle Pitts is different. At least it could be. And landing with the Falcons could give him a better opportunity to start the race. Yes, he’ll be behind Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley in the reception hierarchy, but he shouldn’t be lower than third and this can still be a team to throw the ball more than 600 times. That means he could achieve 100 goals as a rookie. And those goals should be very productive if Jones and Ridley are getting the attention.
I don’t want to get on my skis … it’s hard not to! He’s in seventh place in my first series of projections as a member of the Falcons, and I could see that he was ahead of someone like Dallas Goedert when Zach Ertz isn’t acted. I don’t want to push Pitts up too far – I probably wouldn’t draw him for the first six rounds – but he’s one of the few bottlenecks that can make a difference.
Even as a rookie. – Chris Towers
The Dynasty community is aware of Pitts’ potential to break the TE shape. He is currently coming off the board as a midfielder in Rookie Dynasty drafts. I’m probably a bit higher up in Pitts than the community as a whole, and I have him as my # 4 player overall among newbies. The best way to see Pitts is almost like a “unicorn” perspective at the TE position, and that makes it even more valuable in Dynasty. Well, I know you’ve heard this before in the soccer scouting and fantasy community – it has rarely been translated into fantasy production. Pitts is a slightly different unicorn for the position, however. He has a wide range of translatable receiver skills rather than just 40 speed like an Evan Engram guy.
- Route is running
- Tenacity, concentration at the catch point
- Natural, safe hands
- Elite level body control in the air (think DeAndre Hopkins)
- Excellent ability to get throws slightly off target
- Fluid, natural athleticism
- Loose hips allow him to step on and off during breaks like a WR
- Creates a separation from CBs in men’s reporting using creative releases
- Straight line speed – he’s not a burner
- He’s a willing blocker, but he still has a long way to go as an inline blocker
Breakdown of statistics
|2020 in the top 25||3||14th||235||3||16.8|
|2019 in the top 25||3||fifteen||182||0||12.1|
Knowing advanced statistics
- Best YPC (17.9) of all-time college TEs with 40+ receptions per Rich Hribar of Sharp Football Analysis
- 27.9% TD Rate – second best of all college TEs of all time (with 40+ receptions) per Hribar
- 4.91 yards per course run compared to man coverage in 2020 – third best of all players, almost 2 yards per course run more than any other TE per PFF
There’s no perfect comparison for Pitts, but the closest one to me would be Raiders TE Darren Waller. However, I see a bit of former Giants, Steelers and Jets WR Plaxico Burress in Pitts’ game as well. If he can evolve into a gamer, or better yet, into a hybrid mix, he’s an excellent option for fantasy managers.