The Atlanta Falcons are a team that within the last decade has featured wide receivers known for stretching the sector (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Calvin Ridley).
Kyle Pitts is changing the sport as a non-wideout who stretches the imagination.
His debut season, which resulted in probably the most yards (1,026) by a rookie tight end since Mike Ditka, gave head coach Arthur Smith and the Falcons’ staff a recent offensive weapon to utilize in 2021, with more room to grow in 12 months 2.
But for now, how does Pitts stack up amongst a number of the veterans across the NFL?
ESPN created a rating of the NFL’s top tight ends after speaking with dozens of personnel people and coaches across the league.
Pitts is ranked fifth on the list.
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Last 12 months’s voters telegraphed Pitts as a top-five tight end after his rookie 12 months, and he fulfilled that promise with a 1,026-yard season in Atlanta, making him the primary rookie tight end since Mike Ditka to hit that mark.
“He’ll be in that Waller and Kelce class after next 12 months,” an NFL coordinator said. “He doesn’t even know what he’s doing yet — wait until he figures it out.” … Pitts had just one touchdown catch, though, and his 61.8% catch rate was twenty second amongst tight ends.
The criticisms here seem fair. So do the projections.
The previous Florida Gator became the best drafted tight end in NFL history, being taken fourth overall within the 2021 draft. Pitts played in all 17 games and have become quarterback Matt Ryan’s favorite goal after Ridley stepped away.
Pitts rounds out a top five that features San Francisco’s George Kittle, Kansas City’s Travis Kelce, Las Vegas’ Darren Waller and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews.