5 Things to Know about Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, Top 10 NFL Draft prospect
There are people who spend their lives studying NFL draft prospects who compare Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to Pro Football Hall of Famers.
And some of these same people suggest Pitts is the player available on April 29 most likely to be a future Hall of Famer.
Heavy stuff. Especially for the Miami Dolphins, who may be on the clock at Number 6, staring at a chance to draft a truly transcendent, generational talent.
If the Dolphins, who badly need a receiver — though most have long speculated this is the spot for a wide receiver — select Pitts, it won't be a reach.
If the Dolphins go with Pitts, it will be general manager Chris Grier believing Pitts is one of the best tight end prospects he's ever seen. And it will be coach Brian Flores, with defensive pedigree, wondering how he would ever go about trying to stop Pitts.
"Unicorn," Florida coach Dan Mullen says of Pitts.
"Freak of nature," Florida receiver Trevon Grimes adds.
Pitts is nearly 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds. He can run the 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds. He can jump 33.5 inches and broad jump 10 feet, 9 inches.
Oh — and about that wingspan.
From fingertip to fingertip, Pitts measures 83-3/8 inches — a span wider than any wide receiver or tight end in the NFL over the past 20 years.
6 for 6:Top 6 Miami Dolphins options for Pick 6 in NFL Draft
Column:Kyle Pitts unlike any Dolphins tight end
Draft Interest:Dolphins tell Gators' Kyle Pitts they'll be in touch
Did someone say Tua's-best-friend?
Yes, Tua Tagovailoa would love to see Kyle Pitts or a receiver like Ja'Marr Chase, DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle added to the Dolphins' roster this month.
But perhaps no player would have the instant impact on Miami's offense that Pitts would. Pitts is still developing as a blocker, but he can defeat cornerbacks in 1-on-1 situations and would be a true big-play, vertical threat for the Dolphins.
How would one best align to defend DeVante Parker-Will Fuller-Kyle Pitts-Mike Gesicki?
Good luck and best wishes.
Here are five things to know about Pitts, the top tight end and perhaps top receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft:
Kyle Pitts was raised in Pennsylvania
Kyle Pitts is 20 years old and was born in the Philadelphia area.
Pitts was raised by mother Theresa and father Kelly and has a sister, Tenae.
According to FloridaGators.com, Kelly has worked as a conductor for Amtrak. Sister Tenae was a track athlete at University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
After his prep sophomore season, Kyle transferred to Archbishop Wood High. According to FloridaGators.com, Pitts was 6-feet as a freshman, 6-2 as a sophomore, 6-4 as a junior and 6-6 as a senior.
In high school, Pitts tried track and basketball, but emerged as a football star.
Pitts once played quarterback and defensive end
Pitts transferred as a high school sophomore because he wanted to play tight end but his first coach wanted to utilize him as an option quarterback.
Pitts says his coach said of his tight end preference: “You'll never make it."
Pitts ended his prep career a four-star prospect, the fifth-ranked tight end in his recruiting class.
Pitts played tight end, wide receiver and defensive end in high school. In a 2017 state title game in Pennsylvania, Pitts had two interceptions.
The schools Pitts nearly chose
Pitts chose Florida over Georgia, Maryland and Virginia Tech, keeping a commitment after Jim McElwain was fired and Dan Mullen was named coach. Pitts announced his commitment at the end of a Bleacher Report video in which he rode a roller coaster.
He also considered Alabama, Miami, Ohio State and Tennessee. The Vols had been the first SEC program to extend a scholarship offer.
Pitts has said his love for tight end grew while watching Eric Ebron and Jared Cook, two outstanding receiving tight ends who starred at North Carolina and South Carolina, respectively, and earned big contracts in the NFL.
Pitts worked with receivers at Florida
At Florida, Pitts spent time meeting with the players and coaches in both the tight end and wide receivers' rooms.
As a freshman, he caught only three passes in 11 games.
But Pitts ended his Florida career as the school's all-time leader for receiving yards by a tight end and ranked second in career receptions at the position.
He won the John Mackey Award as college football's top tight end in 2020. Pitts had 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, averaging 17.9 yards per catch.
As a junior, he missed 10 quarters following a vicious hit against Georgia in November that knocked his helmet so sideways his facemask fractured his septum. He had surgery and sat out two full games. Pitts returned to score three times against Kentucky.
Pitts has the body type of a basketball player, which is not uncommon for dominant tight ends. But prior to his final college season, Pitts added eight pounds of muscle by refining his eating habits and completing an intense training program.
Coaches cite Pitts' maturity. He has been described as soft-spoken and polite. But don't mistake that for a lack of confidence.
"I feel like I’ll be the best to ever do it,” Pitts says.
NFL Draft 2021:5 Things to Know about Ja'Marr Chase
NFL Draft 2021:5 Things to Know about Penei Sewell
NFL Draft 2021:5 Things to Know about DeVonta Smith
Pitts the subject of intense draft hype
ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper says Pitts is his highest-graded tight end "ever" and compares him to Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr.
Kiper's colleague, Todd McShay, says Pitts is the player he would choose first from this draft class as a future Hall of Famer.
"He's a wide receiver in a bigger body," McShay said. "So now, you got a guy who can separate, he can get off the press and then you've got a guy who can shield you as a big-bodied guy who can go up and get the ball on contested catches. So he does it all.
"I think we've seen in the league, if you have a special player at tight end, whether it's Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce in Kansas City, if you have one of these players, he can change everything for you. I think he's going to be one of the premier players in the NFL. And I think when it's all said and done, he's got a chance to be a Hall of Famer."
Pitts also has been compared to tight end Darren Waller of the Raiders and even former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah also predicts Pitts will one day be a Hall of Famer.
Column:Superior health, strength causes for Tua Tagovailoa optimism
The Falcons would consider drafting Pitts with the fourth overall pick. It has been reported the Cowboys would consider moving up in a deal with Atlanta to select Pitts.
Few tight ends have historically been drafted in the Top 10. Vernon Davis and Kellen Winslow Jr. each went sixth — Miami's draft slot.
April 29-May 1
Cleveland; ESPN, NFL Network