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Is Kyle Pitts worth a Top 10 pick?  Breaking The Most Written Tight Ends In NFL History

Florida tight end Kyle Pitts will be a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Pitts, who caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Gators as a junior in 2020, brings up comparisons to Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson because of his measurements.

Pitts weighs 6-5, 245 pounds with an 83-inch wingspan. He runs a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. He’s 33.5 inches upright and hit 22 reps on 225 pounds. He would have been one of the main attractions of the NFL Scouting Combine with these numbers.

Johnson was the No.2 pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, but he was a receiver. Pitts is a tight ending, and that makes him a more intriguing prospect in some ways due to the history of the position.

MORE NFL PROJECT: Complete 7-Round Mockup | Top 100 large boards

How many tight ends were first-round picks?

A total of 56 tight ends have been selected in the first round since the first pool draft in 1967. Penn State tight end Ted Kwalick was selected with the No. 7 pick by Penn State in 1969.

Of those 56 tight ends, 28 in total have made at least one Pro Bowl appearance.

Most Written Tight Ends in NFL History

A total of 14 tight ends have been selected with the top 10 picks since 1967.

Denver took Riley Odoms with the No.5 pick in the 1972 NFL Draft – the highest pick ever for a tight end.

YEAR PLAYER TAKE TEAM UNIVERSITY
1972 Riley Odoms 5 Denver Houston
2006 Vernon Davis 6 San Francisco Maryland
1973 Charle young 6 Philadelphia cream USC
2004 Kellen Winlsow II 6 Cleveland Miami, Florida.
1970 Steve zabel 6 Philadelphia cream Oklahoma
1969 Ted kwalick 7 San Francisco Penn State
1980 Junior Miller 7 Atlanta Nebraska
1974 JV Cain 7 Saint Louis Colorado
1978 Ken macafee 7 San Francisco our Lady
1973 Paul Seymour 7 Buffalo Michigan
2019 TJ Hockenson 8 Detroit Iowa
1996 Rickey dudley 9 Oakland Ohio state
1995 Kyle brady 9 New York Jets Penn State
2014 Eric Ebron ten Detroit North Carolina

Of those tight ends, Vernon Davis has had the best career. He finished with 583 receptions for 7,562 yards and 63 touchdowns. Davis has enjoyed a productive 14-year career, and he might be the best comparison with Pitts. Davis was 6-3, 248 pounds and ran a 4.39 at the NFL Combine.

How risky is it to draft a tight end in the first round?

There is a bust factor at work. A total of 20 of those 56 tight ends – or 35.7 percent – finished with less than 2,000 receiving yards for their career. A total of 16 – or 28.5 percent – finished with more than 5,000 receiving yards for their career. Here’s a look at some of the most productive first-round tight ends in NFL history:

YEAR PLAYER TAKE REC YDS TDS
1997 Tony Gonzalez 13 1325 15,127 111
2007 Greg Olsen 31 742 8 683 60
1978 Ozzie Newsome 23 662 7 980 47
2006 Vernon Davis 6 583 7,562 63
1979 Kellen winslow 13 541 6,741 45
2005 Heath miller 30 592 6,569 45
2002 Jeremy shockey 14 547 6,143 37
2004 Benjamin watson 32 547 6 058 44
2001 Todd heap 31 499 5,869 42
1972 Riley Odoms 5 396 5 755 41
2003 Dallas clark 24 505 5 665 53
1988 Keith jackson 13 441 5 283 49
1975 Russ francis 16 393 5 262 40
2004 Kellen Winslow II 6 469 5 236 25
1973 Charle young 6 418 5 106 27
1970 Raymond Chester 24 364 5,013 48

Gonzalez, Newsome, and Winslow are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Clark is a candidate to join them in Canton. That 5,000-yard threshold would be the minimum wait if a team drafted Pitts with a first-round pick.

TE first-round draft pick since 2010

Here’s a look at the tight ends drafted in the first round since 2010 and their production in the NFL at this point:

YEAR PLAYER TAKE REC YDS TDS
2010 Jermaine gresham 21 377 3 752 29
2013 Tyler eifert 21 221 2 501 26
2014 Eric Ebron ten 339 3 753 32
2017 Evan engram 23 216 2,420 13
2017 David njoku 29 112 1,279 11
2018 Hayden hurst 25 99 1,083 9
2019 Noah fant 20 102 1235 6
2019 TJ Hockenson 8 99 1,090 8

Hockenson and Fant enjoyed success in their first two seasons. Ebron has the most production, but several of those tight ends have struggled with injuries and inconsistencies throughout their careers.

Kyle Pitts Screening Project

Atlanta Falcons (# 4)

The Falcons would be the first team not to take a quarterback, and Pitts would be part of an attack that already includes Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley. Atlanta has Hayden Hurst, however, so Ja’Marr Chase is a candidate to take in this location.

Cincinnati Bengals (# 5)

The Bengals are a better bet to face Oregon tackle Penei Sewell, but there are some valuable choices on the offensive line in the second and third rounds, respectively. Pitts could open up the midfield and be a dominant red zone target for Joe Burrow. Cincinnati, however, has already tried this with Jermaine Gresham (2013) and Tyler Eifert (2013).

Miami Dolphins (# 6)

Miami has been around the selection committee through deals, and it would be a question of who wants quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Would Alabama receivers DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle be a better fit here knowing the Dolphins already have Mike Gesicki on the phone?

Carolina Panthers (# 8)

The Panthers traded for Sam Darnold, so it’s unlikely (but still possible) that they’ll take a quarterback here. The Panthers had a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in DJ Moore and Robby Anderson last season, and Pitts would be the perfect target to add to that.

Dallas Cowboys (# 10)

The Cowboys have a charged offense, and Dak Prescott is on the recovery track. Add Pitts to the mix, and it becomes one of the best offenses in the NFL around Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and a solid offensive line. Jerry Jones could make a splash here, and he’s a good choice.

Eagles of Phiadelphia (n ° 12)

We don’t see Pitts dropping any further than that, and if he hits No.10 a team could trade to get the All-Star tight end. Zach Ertz has been a business candidate during the offseason, and Pitts’ drafting would facilitate that move.





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