The Atlanta Falcons had quite a few options with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they chose to go with the player that many expected them to. Florida standout tight end Kyle Pitts was the pick and he will add a much-needed playmaker at the tight end position for the Falcons after they lost Austin Hooper to the Cleveland Browns in free agency a year ago.
Pitts is viewed by many as the best tight end prospect in quite some time. He has the potential to become a superstar very quickly and should come in immediately and help the Falcons get their offense back on track.
Last season, the Falcons finished with a 4-12 record and last place in the NFC South. It was another gut-wrenching season and it also brought trade rumors surrounding Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Neither player ended up getting traded, but the franchise needs to get back on track or they will be forced to make a move.
Looking at the offense now, the Falcons have to feel good about their passing game. Ryan is still a very good starting quarterback and Pitts will join Jones and Calvin Ridley as dangerous playmaking targets.
During his three-year college career with the Gators, Pitts caught 100 passes for 1,492 yards and 18 touchdowns. He stands in at 6-foot-6 and nearly 250 pounds with top-notch athleticism for a tight end. The Falcons are going to be able to create mismatch after mismatch with him.
All of that being said, let’s take a look at three early predictions for Kyle Pitts during his rookie season with the Falcons.
3. Kyle Pitts Racks Up Over 60 Receptions For Falcons
For a tight end, that number is absolutely a bold predictions, especially for a rookie at the position. However, the Falcons have been needing a player who can create mismatches and take pressure off of Jones and Ridley.
Ryan is going to love his new weapon and Pitts will take full advantage of that. He will catch over 60 passes in his rookie season. That production will begin proving all of the draft analysts right for being so high on him.
Very few defenses are going to have a perfect answer to defend Pitts. They can put a linebacker on him and get torched by his speed or they can put a defensive back on him and get torched by his size. Pitts is exactly the kind of piece the Falcons’ offense needed.
2. Pitts Starts Over Hayden Hurst From Day One
Prior to the 2020 NFL season, the Falcons lost Hooper to the Browns in free agency but were able to replace him via a trade for Hayden Hurst with the Baltimore Ravens. Hurst was a good piece for Atlanta last year, catching 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns.
Despite the solid production that Hurst put up last season, his starting job is officially gone. He will no longer be TE1 for the Falcons. Pitts will come in and take that role over immediately.
Pitts has the opportunity to become a top-five tight end in the NFL very quickly. That’s a lofty goal, but that is the expectation of many, including the Falcons themselves.
1. The Rookie Catches 12 Touchdown Passes
Finally, the Falcons are getting a touchdown machine in their new rookie tight end. Kyle Pitts is going to be a red zone target for Ryan at 6-foot-6 and his numbers are going to be impressive in that area.
Julio Jones has not been a huge touchdown threat for quite some time. Calvin Ridley is good, but he isn’t a huge red zone target. Ryan is going to target Pitts in the red zone repeatedly, which will result in big touchdown numbers.
We are predicting that Pitts will end up catching 12 touchdown passes in his rookie season. That will put him in contention for being the best offensive rookie in the NFL.