NFL

Is Kyle Pitts the future of the Eagles?

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

For the Philadelphia Eagles, 2020 was a disappointing year. They went into the season with playoff aspirations and believed they could win the NFC East and more. However, that wasn’t the case. They ended the season 4-11-1, last place in arguably the worst division in NFL history. The former franchise QB Carson Wentz led the league in interceptions and turnover-worthy plays for QBs(via PFF). Overall, this offense had injuries throughout and was lacking a major playmaker. So why is Kyle Pitts the future of the Eagles?

Offensive Struggles

Sep 27, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) watches the replay after throwing an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In 2020, the Eagles had more struggles than one can count. As a team, the Eagles ranked 25th in yards, 3rd in turnovers, and 31st in percentage of drives ending in a score(via Pro Football Reference). They also had a lack of weapons this past year. In 2020, the Eagles had two WRs over 500 yards(none had over 600) and just one WR over 50 catches.

As mentioned above, their franchise QB had the worst season of his career and was benched for second-round rookie Jalen Hurts. Despite the public narrative that Jalen Hurts had a good rookie year, the stats show otherwise. Hurts had a 56.2 PFF grade, which ranks him 63rd in the NFL.

Just in case you want some context as to how bad the Eagles offense was in 2020, here is an article from Bleeding Green Nation with some disappointing statistics on offense and defense.

Why is Kyle Pitts the future?

Dec 19, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) runs the ball against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Brian Branch (14) and defensive back Daniel Wright (3) during the first quarter in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Pitts is a 20-year-old TE freak coming out of Florida. Being touted as maybe the greatest prospect at his position ever, his tape backs it up. His 6’6 frame allows him to physically dominate smaller DBs, while his speed lets him run by slower LBs.

Statistics

Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) runs with the ball against Tennessee Volunteers defensive back Trevon Flowers (1) during the second half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

And if you value college stats, his stats back up his draft stock even more. In his final season at Florida, he played 8 games with 43 catches, 770 yards, and 12 TDs. He also backed that up with a 96.2 PFF grade, making him the country’s highest-graded offensive player.

The only argument to be made against Kyle Pitts is that tight ends shouldn’t be picked in the top ten. While this may be true, Pitts is not only a tight end. While in college, he lined up everywhere he could on the field. He played 261 snaps as a tight end, 79 snaps in the slot, and 69 out wide(via PFF). Kyle Pitts’ versatility is what makes him such an attractive prospect. His blend of size, speed, and versatility makes him the best offensive weapon in the draft.

Scouts Opinions

Dec 5, 2020; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In case you value what the analysts and scouts have to say, they agree with me. Many respected draft experts agree that Kyle Pitts’ talent and potential are insane. On the ESPN First Draft Podcast, popular draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr says that Kyle Pitts could be the best tight end prospect he’s ever scouted.

Another popular draft scout Daniel Jeremiah says the Eagles taking Pitts is a “no brainer.” He continues to describe how all the things that make all-pro Travis Kelce so dangerous all fit Kyle Pitts. He also mentions how Pitts’ talent and skill would be perfect for a young QB like Hurts.

Even though he is not a draft scout, popular analyst Colin Cowherd predicted that Kyle Pitts would be the best TE in the NFL within 2 seasons. I use that not to support Cowherd’s credentials but to show the level of respect Pitts has in NFL circles and respected NFL names.

Another well-respected name in the NFL draft community is Todd McShay. When asked how Pitts compares to NFL tight ends in the league today, McShay says Pitts has the potential to be just as good as Travis Kelce and George Kittle, some of the league’s best tight ends.

So is Kyle Pitts the future?

Sep 26, 2020; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts (84) during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are a team desperate for offensive talent. The team has struggled to get good young talent as skill positions in recent years. For a team that needs any talent they could get, they are in a great position in this draft. The Eagles could be in a position to draft the greatest prospect at his position ever.

They have a young second-year QB who is desperate to prove himself and earn a long-term role as the franchise QB. The team has a rookie head coach who loves talent and versatility from players. If the Eagles are on the clock, and Kyle Pitts is still there, their only option is to take the Philadelphia Eagles’ future.

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