Admit it, when you first glanced at the “Kyle” part of my headline, your initial urge was to rush over to the comments section and/or your favorite social media platform and complain about Behind the Steel Curtain’s ongoing desire to see the Steelers draft a quarterback.
No, the Kyle that has caught my eye isn’t Florida quarterback Kyle Trask; it’s Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.
Now, before you rush over to the comments section and/or your favorite social media platform to complain about me having a draft crush that the Steelers have no realistic way of selecting, take a chill pill.
I know this, but people can’t help who they develop crushes on. Truth be told, I’ve been admiring Pitts since I started seeing his name at the top of draft boards months ago. I mean, a tight end at the top of NFL draft boards with all of those quarterbacks, receivers, offensive tackles, cornerbacks and elite pass-rushers? That’s kind of like The Good Fight—a CBS All-Access original—receiving similar accolades to the original programming produced by streaming titans, Netflix and Amazon Prime.
But it wasn’t until I started paying attention to what scouts and experts were saying about Pitts that I truly became intrigued by him.
I used to think “Too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs” was just a cliched, default thing non-experts like me said when describing the key attributes of a dominant tight end. However, not only do experts actually say this stuff about Pitts—“He’s a tough matchup for most linebackers and too big for most cornerbacks,” says NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein—but it shows up on screen when you watch his highlights.
The kid—excuse me, the MAN—is a beast. Pitts is 6’6”, and defensive backs look like small children as they try to cover him. Ever d-up your little brother in basketball? That’s how these defensive backs look as they try in vain to reach around Pitts’ enormous frame and prevent him from reeling in a pass. Yes, Pitts is way too fast for linebackers, but with 4.4 speed, defensive backs also have trouble catching him in the open field. Even when some itty, bitty cornerback catches up with Pitts, however, good luck wrestling his 245-pound frame to the ground.
Pitts didn’t make life easy on defenders in college, and I doubt they’ll have much success stopping him in the NFL.
Zeirlein’s draft profile of Pitts includes such a long list of strengths, if I copied and pasted all of them, I might be accused of plagiarism.
But there is one that I absolutely must share:
- “Body control and timing make time stand still as airborne baller.”
Doesn’t that quote make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?
Pitts also has some weaknesses (nobody is perfect), including a lack of the strength, size and instincts necessary to block like a traditional tight end.
When it comes to that, who cares? Worrying about Pitts’ blocking ability is like worrying about the trunk space of your new sports car.
There are those who think Pitts will transition to receiver at the pro level, but I say keep him at tight end. It’s a new era for the position. Tight ends are supposed to be weapons in today’s NFL, not glorified tackles—it’s like, “Hello, the 1980s called; they want their idea of a tight end back.”
Anyway, I realize the Steelers have no realistic shot at drafting Pitts, but if you gave me one wish, he would be the player they somehow wound up with.
When was the last time the Steelers had a Gronk-like tight end that was an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses? If you said, "never," you would be correct.
Word is, the Falcons could take Pitts with the fourth pick, and if they don’t, Carolina might give the newly-acquired Sam Darnold a major weapon. I sure hope the Bengals and Dolphins don’t get any ideas in between.
If the Steelers can’t have Kyle Pitts, I don’t want any other team in the AFC crushin’ on him.