The Atlanta Falcons made it clear last weekend that they have full belief in Matt Ryan still by passing on drafting a quarterback at No. 4 overall and taking dual-threat tight end Kyle Pitts instead. Because of that, Pitts became the first tight end to go in the top five of the NFL draft in 49 years after ex-Broncos Pro Bowler Riley Odoms went fifth in 1972. “I’ve been waiting for that call my whole life,” Pitts said Thursday night via ESPN.
“I see my phone ring and it’s just — felt my heart drop. It’s step one
Pitts Was the Unicorn of the Draft
During a plagued-filled season, Pitts secured 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns that tied him for third-most in the NCAA in 2020. He dominated the college gridiron with his freakish size and athleticism. The 6-foot-6 and 245 pound tight end with 4.4 speed is a matchup nightmare that is bound to make an immediate impact on the Falcons’ offense, which is why he was considered to be the draft’s “unicorn.” “He’s kind of like a unicorn, and the only way you can defend a unicorn is with another unicorn,” Gators head coach Dan Mullen said. “So if you don’t have a unicorn on defense, you got a problem.”
Pitts brings extreme speed and versatility to Atlanta, acting as a tight end with the potential to be a wideout if needed. We also can’t forget who he will be working alongside, Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst and new backfield addition, Mike Davis.
Pitts Will Be Arthur Smith’s Chess Piece
Pitts is not a blocking tight end. That’s not what he came to Atlanta to do. He came to catch passes that the other receivers can’t. The Falcons already have their blocking tight end in Hayden Hurst and Lee Smith, so Pitts just needs to worry about getting the ball into the end zone. The Falcons are set on Ryan at QB until at least 2023, so adding another weapon for him was crucial.
Where Pitts will really help the Falcons out is in the red zone. The Falcons kept the red zone dead last season, unable to carry out plays mentally and physically. The Falcons thought Todd Gurley would change their success rate there, however, he was too washed up to be the playmaker Atlanta needed.But now, Arthur Smith, one of the best offensive play-callers in the NFL has a red-zone threat in Kyle Pitts and the ability to make some plays there.
But now, Arthur Smith, one of the best offensive play-callers in the NFL has a red-zone threat in Kyle Pitts and the ability to make some plays there.
Of course, that’s not the only place he’ll help out. Smith will use Pitts similar to a chess piece. He can maneuver all over the field, especially down the center where Ryan loves to throw. It also helps that Pitts is joining an offense that is heavy on lining up 12 personnel (two TEs and one running back). The difference this time is that Smith doesn’t have to give the ball to the running back, he can use his receiving options instead.
At the end of the day, the Falcons hit the jackpot with Pitts who joins an already loaded offense. But we’ll see what Smith has up his sleeve for him and if the Falcons’ defense can keep up with the offense’s production to truly become playoff contenders this season. Keep an eye on their season win total at sportsbooks like Pinnacle (visit our Pinnacle Review) and look for the best value.