Mon, 17 May 2021

Colts 2021 NFL Draft Position Preview: Tight Ends

Indianapolis Colts
16 Apr 2021, 17:39 GMT+10

The 2021 class of tight ends is headlined by a generational talent in Florida's Kyle Pitts.  JJ Stankevitz Who's available?

Nineteen tight ends were invited to participate in the NFL's modified 2021 scouting combine, which officially took place at college pro days on various campuses:

John Bates, Boise State Matt Bushman, BYU Tory Carter, LSU Zach Davidson, Central Missouri Nick Eubanks, Michigan Luke Farrell, Ohio State Pat Freiermuth, Penn State Kylen Granson (H-back) SMU Noah Gray, Duke Brevin Jordan, Miami Hunter Long, Boston College Tre' McKitty, Georgia Briley Moore-McKinney, Kansas State Kyle Pitts, Florida Tony Poljan, Virginia Dylan Soehner, Iowa State Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame Pro Wells, TCU Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi What do experts think?

There is a legitimate debate about if Florida's Kyle Pitts will be the first non-quarterback selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Here's how NFL.com's Lance Zierlein describes Pitts:

"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. ... Along with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, Pitts has a chance to become the biggest game-changer in the 2021 NFL Draft."

And Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson:

"He could be one of the first players with true wide receiver/tight end crossover ability in a way that isn't just a position switch because of a deficiency. Pitts is a phenomenal prospect, and he may be the best receiver in the draft, regardless of position."

Only three tight ends have ever been top-five picks (one is Hall of Famer Mike Ditka), with the most recent coming in 1972.

The Athletic's Dane Brugler ranked Pitts as the No. 2 player in the 2021 NFL Draft, then has Pat Freiermuth (No. 52), Brevin Jordan (No. 72) and Tommy Tremble (No. 75) in his top 100 prospects. Freiermuth made Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 prospects at No. 46; Jeremiah also ranked Pitts No. 2.

NFL.com's Charley Casserly mocked Pitts to the Falcons with the fourth overall pick, while CBS Sports' Josh Edwards has Pitts going sixth to the Dolphins. Most mock drafts have Pitts as the only tight end selected in the first round.

Who's on the Colts?

Colts general manager Chris Ballard has never drafted a tight end since arriving in Indianapolis, but the Colts still had strong production from that position group in 2020. Jack Doyle, Mo-Alie Cox (a restricted free agent) and Trey Burton (an unrestricted free agent) combined for 82 catches, 895 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020.

The Colts also have tight ends Farrod Green, Noah Togiai and Andrew Vollert on their roster.

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