Atlanta Falcons rookie Kyle Pitts has all of the talent needed to become the NFL’s best tight end, according to Rob Gronkowski. The future Hall of Famer and Tampa Bay veteran praised Pitts Wednesday, telling reporters that the rookie’s athleticism is “unbelievable.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen him, and I’ve been hearing a lot about him since he was coming out for the draft,” Gronkowski said. “He’s just an athletic freak — he for sure is. I’ve seen some highlights of him and he can play. It’s just unbelievable — his build, his speed, his size, his route running — the capabilities that he has are just second to none. It’s going to be a fun ride to watch him play ball throughout the years.”
The Falcons selected Pitts fourth overall, despite needing a lot of help on the offensive line, which just goes to show how much the league coveted the young Florida pass catcher. In only 24 college games, Pitts notched 100 catches for just shy of 1,500 yards and a staggering 18 touchdowns. He was named an All-American and the winner of the John Mackey Award given to the best collegiate tight end.
Put simply, Pitts was one of those rare players whose body was ready for the NFL without much college preparation. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein summed up Pitts succinctly:
“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.”
Pitts started slow on Sunday, to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere, but his upside remains staggeringly high. The Philadelphia Eagles held him to just four catches and 31 yards, prompting new head coach Arthur Smith to publicly take the blame for failing to include Pitts enough in the game plan.
Gronkowski will get a chance to see Pitts up close and personal this weekend, as the Falcons travel to Tampa Bay for an afternoon divisional game.