If the New England Patriots trade up for a quarterback in the first ten picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, few people will be shocked. But what if they move up to take a tight end?
Well, we’re not just talking about any tight end. We’re specifically referring to Florida’s Kyle Pitts. NBC Sports’ Josh Schrook shared this scenario recently.
Here are these bold predictions big mover and shaker. Yes, Bill Belichick is allergic to moving up and probably will trade down come draft night. But…what’s the fun in that?After the 49ers call Jones’ name at No. 3, everyone is wondering who will vault up the board for Fields or Lance. Belichick knows his only chance of getting the player he wants is to move up to No. 4. The Bengals won’t move out of No. 5 and the Miami Dolphins aren’t about to hand their rival the draft spot they want. So, Belichick calls up the Falcons, apologizes for the whole 28-3 thing, and sends them the No. 15 pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2024, along with a second-round pick in 2022 to go up to No. 4 overall. With everyone thinking Fields is packing his bags for Foxboro, Belichick stuns everyone and selects Kyle Pitts, giving the Patriots three versatile tight ends in Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith and Pitts. Belichick and Josh McDaniels are always looking for an edge and they believe this will put defenses in an impossible situation when defending them.
Would the Patriots Actually Run Three Tight Ends Regularly?
Pitts is arguably the best tight end prospect since Vernon Davis came out of Maryland in 2006. Many have projected Pitts to land with the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4, and if the Falcons pass on him, it’s highly unlikely the Cincinnati Bengals would let him get past them at No. 5.
We know how much Belichick loves the tight end position. He’s already signed two major talents at tight end this offseason. The Patriots signed Jonnu Smith to a four-year $50 million contract, and Hunter Henry to a three-year $37.5 million deal. That accumulation of talent at the position might suggest New England would be set at that spot.
That is probably true.
However, as we’ve said, Pitts isn’t like most anyone we’ve ever seen. He’s technically a tight end, but his combination of size (6’6″ 245 pounds), strength and athleticism allows the Patriots to line him up in a variety of spots. An offense that featured Smith, Henry, and Pitts would create a ton of matchup issues for defenses.
There is No Questioning Pitts’ Upside
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein breaks down Pitts, comparing him to the Las Vegas Raiders’ Darren Waller, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill, and Hall-of-Famer Calvin Johnson. Yeah, it’s that serious.
While the player comparison for the purposes of this scouting report is Darren Waller, Pitts may have the traits and talent to create mismatches similar to those created by Calvin Johnson and Tyreek Hill. His rare blend of size, athleticism and ball skills are reminiscent of Megatron’s. His ability as a pass-catching tight end could force defenses in his division to alter the way they construct their roster. He’s a tough matchup for most linebackers and too big for most cornerbacks. He offers offensive coordinators the ability to align him all over the field and, like Waller, can become a highly targeted, highly productive pass catcher from the tight end position. He puts in effort as a blocker but with limited success. That’s not what makes him special, though. Along with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, Pitts has a chance to become the biggest game-changer in the 2021 NFL Draft.
All this said, it would take great courage for the Patriots to give up all of the draft assets required to pull of this kind of deal for a tight end, even one as talented as Pitts.