The New York Giants could certainly consider drafting Florida tight end Kyle Pitts if he’s available at the No. 11 overall selection.
Kyle Pitts Info
- Tight end, University of Florida
- 6-foot-6, 240 pounds
- Two-time first-team All-SEC (2019 and 2020)
- 2020 Unanimous All-American
- 2020 John Mackey Award winner (top tight end in the nation)
- 2020 stats: 43 receptions, 770 yards, 12 touchdowns (eight games)
How Pitts would Benefit the Giants
Simply speaking, the Evan Engram era may be coming to a much-needed conclusion in East Rutherford. He earned his first-ever Pro Bowl bid in 2020 but the four-year player’s on-field mistakes are just too significant to overlook. From the drops (11 this past season for a 10.1% drop rate) to the overall unreliability (quarterbacks combined for six interceptions and a measly 55.4 passer rating when targeting him in 2020), it’s time for the Giants to look for the next guy.
Barring the acquisition of a big-name wide receiver, Kyle Pitts would arguably be Daniel Jones‘ top target. Size isn’t a concern with the Florida tight end and neither are his hands — Pitts didn’t drop a single pass this past season.
Florida TE Kyle Pitts in 2020: 66 targets, 43 catches, *zero* drops. pic.twitter.com/Fuhn1XuqSv
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 21, 2021
Pitts additionally never fumbled throughout his career as a Gator and portrays on-field versatility; he can line up as more of a receiver as well.
Kyle Pitts never fumbled the ball in his entire collegiate career (100 catches) pic.twitter.com/PHzFLLth50
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 23, 2021
Kyle Pitts lined up out wide among TEs since 2014:
🐊 7 TDs (1st)
🐊 11 catches of 15+ yards (1st)
🐊 77.3 receiving grade (1st) pic.twitter.com/xAHpSn395A
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 25, 2021
The 20-year-old would also be a solid red-zone threat, something the Giants offense definitely needs after tying for last in the NFL with 12 touchdown passes last year (the same number of touchdowns Pitts caught during his 2020 campaign).
Acquiring the Florida standout would likely mean the end of the Engram era, and trading the 2017 first-round pick may occur before or even during this year’s draft. It would all be worth it though. The Giants’ No. 1 objective this offseason should be to find Jones help in the passing game, and Pitts would certainly be able to provide that in more ways than one.
Film Room Notes
Pitts and Florida’s win over Ole Miss (Sept. 26, 2020)
In the first game of the 2020 season, Pitts caught eight balls for 170 yards and a whopping four touchdowns amid a 51-35 win for the Gators.
In this first play, Pitts portrays his ability to hold his blocks while lining up off the line of scrimmage — that’s right, he’s not just talented as a pass-catcher. This aspect of his game would be important in East Rutherford, considering offensive coordinator Jason Garrett likes to heavily utilize his tight ends.
Pitts puts his blocking ability on display again in the above clip, this time lining up on the line of scrimmage on a quarterback draw play.
Let’s now get into some pass-catching abilities from the star tight end and potential future Giant. On this play, Pitts lines up off the line of scrimmage on the right side, and with one quick and elusive move amid the play-action (executed by Florida quarterback Kyle Trask), is able to find space for the catch. He’s then physical enough where crossing the goal line won’t be an issue.
Pitts doesn’t execute the quickest of releases in this above clip, which would be an issue with some tight ends and receivers but might not be with him considering he can make up for it with his size, strength, and hands.
On his second touchdown reception of the game, Pitts portrays spectacular athleticism, reeling in a back-shoulder throw from Trask. Pitts, like any great tight end or receiver, makes a mid-play adjustment near the goal line and employs great vision in order to locate the ball.
Pitts and Florida’s loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game (Dec. 19, 2020)
Pitts racked up seven catches for 129 yards and a touchdown in the 52-46 defeat at the hands of the Crimson Tide.
While lining up off the line of scrimmage in the above clip, Pitts utilizes his size to gain separation from the defender and create just enough space in order to make the catch before fighting for yards. Implementing these on-field strengths would be huge for Daniel Jones and Big Blue’s offense — Pitts doesn’t need to be completely wide open and can make the contested catch if needed.
This is another play where Pitts shows the great athletic ability he carries for his size, implementing one little move on a slant route while lining up split wide. This move, while not ground-breaking, is enough to gain decent separation from the defender for the reception.
Going away from the pass-catching abilities just for a little bit, Pitts is one of the pulling blockers in this designed quarterback run. While he’s pulling, he employs great vision to locate the defender and help spring a first-down run.
Here’s another example of a catch in traffic from the young tight end.
Once Pitts makes his move, he’s athletic enough to turn on the jets to gain separation but can still make the catch with an over-the-top defender closing in for the big hit.
And finally, we have Pitts’ touchdown in this SEC Championship loss, a play in which he lines up in the slot, makes a great adjustment in the end zone, and snags the ball at its highest point over the defenders. The great play didn’t need to include an overly complex route either, just a simple move up the seam.