6 tight ends the Carolina Panthers could pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
Kyle Pitts – Florida
Kyle Pitts has been the top dream draft option that isn’t a quarterback for Carolina Panthers’ fans since the middle of the 2020 season. Prior to the season-ending, the prospect was solidified as a top-10 pick but as the offseason has progressed, he has risen up boards to a point where there is not a belief he will be available when the team picks at No. 8.
In fact, many believe that Pitts will not make it past the Atlanta Falcons, who have the No. 4 overall selection in this year’s draft. Reports have suggested that owner Arthur Blank is “head over heels” with the former Florida sensation and adding him to an offense that already includes Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mike Davis is a mouth-watering prospect.
Panthers’ general manager Scott Fitterer said on Friday that Carolina is open to trading the eighth pick. They’ve already talked to fives teams about the possibility, but those have been about the Carolina moving back.
Pitts won’t fall to the Panthers. So Carolina will need to move up to select him. It is going to be hard to find a taker to move a pick ahead of them.
If the Panthers were able to snag Pitts, they’d be getting one of the best tight end prospects in years and he is unquestionably the draft’s top athlete. At 6-foot-6 and 239 pounds, the ex-Gator plays as big as his size.
He is fast for a tight end and will be a mismatch nightmare for opposing teams. Pitts has the talent, a la Greg Olsen and Christian McCaffrey, to slide over and play wide receiver, but he’s faster.
Pitts is a great route-runner and excels at change-of-direction. He will cause headaches in the red zone with his jumping ability and the extension of his catching abilities.
The incoming college recruit is a hard worker and a great team player. Pitts is only going to get better once he gets to the NFL and the Panthers would be lucky to have him on their sideline than facing the tight end twice a year on the other side.