The talk over the next couple of months surrounding the 2021 NFL Draft will certainly revolve around the quarterback position, but one player in particular will also be heavily talked about, mostly due to the position he plays. That player will more than likely be Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts.
While listed as a tight end on the roster, Pitts is much more than that on the gridiron, and for that reason will likely go higher than typical of a tight end in recent years.
While still very early, NFL Draft big boards have already began to be published, and The Athletic's Dan Brugler has hit the ground running, releasing his top-100 NFL Draft board just yesterday.
According to Brugler, Pitts is the No. 5 prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft behind Trevor Lawrence (quarterback, Clemson), Penei Sewell (offensive tackle, Oregon), Ja'Marr Chase (wide receiver, LSU) and Zach Wilson (QB, BYU).
This means, Pitts is ahead of plenty of other talented prospects, at more valuable positions than a tight end. However, with the growing need for weapons in the NFL, Pitts fits the bill of an offensive chess piece much better than simply a player who lines up in-line or occasionally as a receiver in the slot.
While at Florida, Pitts, 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, played in all areas of the field, often seen playing outside as a receiver, inside as a big-slot, or inline as a blocker, or traditional tight end. While Pitts will need to add just a bit more power to become an elite blocker, his current skillset does just fine in that area, and he excelled in all other areas.
Last season, Pitts took the FBS by storm as the top tight end in the nation, earning the John Mackey Award, given to the nation's top tight end. He accounted for 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year, playing in just eight games. His career totals included 100 receptions for 1,492 and 12 touchdowns.
With Pitts, an NFL team is getting a very unique player with the size and speed to translate perfectly into a modern-day NFL offense. While selecting a tight end top 10 is rare, it can happen. In 2019, the Detroit Lions selected former Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson 8th overall.
While Pitts may not be selected that high, certainly he is one of the best tight end, or offensive weapon, prospects to come out in some time, and that'll dictate just how high he goes in the 2021 NFL Draft.