Hindsight is always 20/20 and the NFL Draft is no different. Especially with an entire season to evaluate picks and personnel, and how they affected your team positively or negatively.
With that in mind, let’s revisit the Atlanta Falcons' 2021 draft. Kyle Pitts was Atlanta's first pick, at No. 4 overall, and was projected very highly pre-draft. Some draft experts considered him to be a generational player at the tight end position, with the traits and talent to create mismatches similar to those created by former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson and current Kansas City Chiefs speedster Tyreek Hill.
It was said that along with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, Pitts had a chance to become the biggest game-changer in the 2021 NFL Draft.
And that's what Atlanta was banking on.
Pitts did have a successful season in 2021, catching 68 balls on 110 targets for 1,026 yards in 17 games. But he scored just one touchdown, something the Falcons desperately needed more of during the season.
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Pitts wasn't a disappointment by any stretch, and will certainly develop even further into that game-changer he was projected to be.
But what if the Falcons could do it all over again? Knowing then what they know now about all players drafted in 2021.
According to ESPN's Re-draft of the 2021 NFL Draft, Atlanta passes on Pitts and instead takes Penn State linebacker, Micah Parsons at No. 4. Writes ESPN:
This has absolutely nothing to do with Pitts, who had a transcendent rookie season and is going to be a star. He was a big reason why Atlanta's offense had any sort of production. But the Falcons entered and exited the season with the same problem -- how to rush the passer. Parsons had 13 sacks, 30 quarterback hits and 3 forced fumbles, creating complete havoc. Among Parsons, Pitts, Ja'Marr Chase and offensive tackles Rashawn Slater and Penei Sewell, the Falcons couldn't go wrong here in hindsight.
There's no way to know how Parsons would've affected the Falcons 2021 season. But considering his body of work in Dallas, it's a safe bet that drafting the future NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year would've been a good move.