After failing to safe reelection as draft choose selector for the Philadelphia Eagles after my, frankly, stellar drafting of an eventual high 10 choose at 21 final season, I’ve been left with no alternative however to regroup. And if I couldn’t choose for the Eagles, I used to be going to take the following best choice: Decide the place the Eagles had been speculated to draft. Whereas I don’t hate the commerce, as getting a primary again within the deal is sweet worth, as I ready my write up for this choice my approval of the commerce did diminish slightly as I thought of what might have been.
Sadly, I’m not right here to speak in regards to the Eagles. I’m right here right now on behalf of the Miami Dolphins. And with the sixth general choose within the 2021 Bleeding Inexperienced Nation group mock draft, the Miami Dolphins choose: Kyle Pitts, Tight Finish, Florida.
Earlier than I get into my protection of the participant, I need to tackle a frequent argument in opposition to this choose. Drafting a decent finish within the first spherical, not to mention the highest 10, will not be good worth. Taking a decent finish this excessive is unrealistic and an NFL will not often spend such a excessive choose on tight finish. Whereas there could also be some benefit to this argument for many tight ends, I consider this argument is overblown, particularly for a prospect nearly as good as Kyle Pitts.
First, the notion that groups don’t worth tight ends excessive sufficient to justify a first-round choose will not be supported by draft historical past. On the contrary, groups have drafted a decent finish within the first spherical in 15 of the final 20 drafts. Actually, during the last 20 years, 21 tight ends had been drafted within the first together with 6 during the last 4 years. Furthermore, this isn’t restricted to late first spherical picks. Since 2004, 4 tight ends have gone within the high 10 together with: TJ Hockenson in 2019 (eighth general), Eric Ebron in 2014 (tenth general), Vernon Davis in 2006 (sixth general), and Kellen Winslow Jr. in 2004 (sixth general). Whereas there are booms and busts at tight finish, like several place within the draft, tight ends are likely to have a decrease bust fee than most positions within the draft. Sometimes, most tight ends who’re chosen within the first-round are likely to go on to be, at a minimal, stable starters for his or her group.
Furthermore, as current drafts have demonstrated, the tight finish function within the fashionable NFL offense has expanded over the previous couple of years, with a number of tight finish units rising in popularity yearly. In keeping with Sharp Soccer Stats, the reliance on two TE formations has elevated yearly since 2018: rising from 20% in 2018, to 24% in 2020, with using a number of TE units rising from 23% to twenty-eight% in that very same time interval.
Within the first two years of the Brian Flores regime, the Dolphins have exceeded the league common in its use of a number of TEs. In 2020, Miami’s offense utilized 2 or extra TE’s on 35% of its snaps, which is 7% greater than league common. Because of this, tight ends have performed a distinguished function within the Dolphins’ receiving sport. In 2020, Mike Gesicki was second solely to DeVante Parker in targets (85), receptions (53), and yards (703). That reliance on TEs solely elevated when Tua Tagovailoa took over the beginning job final season, with a TE ceaselessly ending first or second on the group in whole targets, receptions, and yards.
However I’m not right here to defend the significance of the tight finish place within the fashionable NFL. I’m right here to speak about Kyle Pitts, a possible generational expertise. No scratch that. Pitts is a generational expertise on the tight finish place. When Calvin Johnson and Travis Kelce hold exhibiting up as your comparable participant, you recognize you could have one thing particular.
Let’s begin together with his measurables. At 6’6”, 245 kilos, Pitts is constructed like your perfect tight finish. From there it solely will get higher. Pitts has a fully unbelievable wingspan of 83 3/8”, which, in keeping with Professional Soccer Focus, is an extended wingspan than any extensive receiver or tight finish within the final twenty years. Between his wingspan and his peak, Pitts sports activities an unreal catch radius.
What’s most shocking about Pitts is how briskly he’s for a participant his dimension. At his professional day, Pitts ran a 4.44 forty yard sprint, the quickest time for a decent finish since Evan Engram (who ran a 4.42 however was additionally shorter and 10 kilos lighter than Pitts). To place that forty time in perspective, Pitts’ time is inside .02 seconds of the occasions Justin Jefferson, DJ Moore, Calvin Ridley, Chris Godwin, Amari Cooper ran of their combines, and quicker than Jerry Jeudy, Deebo Samuel, AJ Brown, Christian Kirk, DeVante Parker, Stefon Diggs, and DeAndre Hopkins.
Now I can already hear the detractors saying, professional day forty occasions are traditionally quicker than combines. Normally there may be benefit to this argument. Every facility has its personal surfaces and situations that may have an effect on how briskly a participant performs, a lot of which facilitate quicker occasions than Indianapolis. Surprisingly, that isn’t the case in Florida. In keeping with Ryan McCrystal at numberFire, since 2011, Florida gamers on common have run .5% slower forty occasions than they ran on the mix. Actually, since 2013, just one Florida participant has improved their forty time from their mix time. As stunning because it sounds, Pitts might very effectively have run a fair quicker forty-time had the NFL not cancelled the mix.
Wanting on the tape, there’s a complete lot to like. On high of his velocity and dimension, he’s a wonderful route runner, with large burst out of his breaks and nice change of path velocity. You’ve heard of QBs who could make all of the throws? Nicely Pitts could make all of the catches. 50/50 ball: Verify. Excessive-point: Verify. Contested balls: Verify. He can do all of it based mostly on his peak, large wingspan, nice athleticism and wonderful arms. If the ball is in his normal space, he greater than probably is coming down with it. Pitts adjusts effectively to the ball and has wonderful physique management. He has the velocity to create separation in opposition to corners and is a flat-out nightmare for linebackers in protection. On high of that, Pitts is a coach’s dream. He’s a tough employee, a wonderful teammate, and simply flat out loves the sport.
From a manufacturing standpoint, Pitts delivered. In his breakout season in 2019, Pitts registered 54 receptions, 649 yards and 5 touchdowns. A great season that in all probability would have been higher however for the truth that Florida had a wonderful offensive depth on the ability place that season. In 2020, Pitts was a monster. In simply eight video games, Pitts managed to drag in 43 receptions, 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. You probably have any doubt about his capability, go watch the highlights from his sport in opposition to Ole Miss, the place he posted 8 receptions for 170 yards and 4 touchdowns!
When it comes to weaknesses, Pitts might stand to enhance a blocker. That isn’t to say he’s a foul blocker, he’s not. Actually, he’s a reasonably good as a blocker on the second degree. However he could possibly be extra forceful on the block when held on the road. That stated, held again on the road, he provides it his all and he by no means takes performs off. Regardless, if Pitts is staying in to dam on a play, that’s already a win for the protection. Whereas he has proven he’s fairly succesful racking up yards after the catch, he might enhance on his yards after contact, having solely 10 damaged tackles in his profession. However these are each minor weaknesses compared to simply the embarrassment of riches Pitts brings to the desk.
Pitts is a game-changer that immediately makes the Dolphins’ offense higher. Having a dominant tight finish who can get open, reliably catch that ball, and is nice at adjusting on damaged performs is a younger quarterback’s dream. As guys like George Kittle and Travis Kelce have confirmed, a very elite tight finish can create matchup nightmares that opposing protection should account for. Pitts might be that kind of participant and is effectively well worth the choose at 6.
Do you approve of this choose?
509 votes whole
2021 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Jaguars (Phoenix X Minimus): QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets (eagles.north.of.the.border): QB Zach Wilson
3) 49ers (I Want a Username): QB Trey Lance
4) Falcons (chewy wellington): OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals (Dr_Horrible): WR Ja’Marr Chase
6) Dolphins (20Safety_Hazard): TE Kyle Pitts
7) Lions (drc242):
8) Panthers (wildcatlh):
9) Broncos (ItownBallers22):
10) Cowboys (Kephas):
11) Giants (Billmington):
12) Eagles (ablesser88):
13) Chargers (Georgia_eagle):
14) Vikings (Philliesandthebees):
15) Patriots (SakPrescott):
16) Cardinals (Carson Wentzs ACL):
17) Raiders (dshelton5):
18) Dolphins (J. Wil):
19) Soccer Crew (Negadelphia Norm):
20) Bears (Happy24):
21) Colts (CSsdV):
22) Titans (Pleasant Neighborhood Philly Fan):
23) Jets (Asap Stocky):
24) Steelers (Gregnado):
25) Jaguars (“Snax”):
26) Browns (gerouxman1956):
27) Ravens (Brendanekstrom):
28) Saints (grantspectations):
29) Packers (Philly_Philly):
30) Payments (doublefry):
31) Chiefs (Leo Bedio):
32) Buccaneers (phuckdallas):
Now it’s time so that you can vote for who YOU suppose ought to be chosen within the 2021 BGN Neighborhood Consensus Mock Draft.
Who ought to the Miami Dolphins draft at No. 6?
TE Kyle Pitts
WR DeVonta Smith
WR Jaylen Waddle
OT Rashawn Slater
332 votes whole
1) Jaguars: QB Trevor Lawrence
2) Jets: QB Zach Wilson:
3) 49ers: QB Justin Fields
4) Falcons: OT Penei Sewell
5) Bengals: WR Ja’Marr Chase