Kyle Pitts defines what some would call an “absolute problem.”
I mean, look at him.
He stands at 6’6 and 240 pounds with a demeanor that looks like he plays no games.
Pitts will enter this year’s NFL draft as one of the most elite prospects ever at his position. His unique combo of size, athleticism, and excellent hands makes him an offensive coordinator’s dream and a nightmare for a defensive coordinator.
And for that reason alone, he needs to be on the radar of the Detroit Lions.
Right now, those reading this article may want to stop immediately. And it’s understandable. The idea that the Detroit Lions should use the No.7 overall pick on a tight end of all things is blasphemous. Furthermore, anyone who thinks this should be ridiculed, shamed, and have their football intelligence questioned.
Lions fans have a right to feel this way.
After all, outside of T.J. Hockenson, drafting tight ends has not worked out in their favor. In 2009, the Lions drafted Brandon Pettigrew with the 20th overall selection, and needless to say, it didn’t work out. While he showed great promise in 2010 and 2011, his production began to slip the following three seasons. His career was essentially over after suffering an ACL injury in 2015.
While Pettigrew didn’t work out, he wasn’t the only one that caused Lions fans to have PTSD about drafting tight ends in the first round. Heck, he’s not even the main reason.
No, that honor belongs to Eric Ebron.
When it comes to Ebron and his time in Detroit, it’s definitely safe to say that there is no love lost. And that’s because there wasn’t any.
Whether it is warranted or not, Ebron is associated with nightmares for Lions fans. While Calvin Johnson donned the nickname “Megatron,” with fans across the country, locally, some referred to Ebron as “Droptimus Prime,” a play on Johnson’s Transformers nickname.
And rightfully so because there are three things everyone could count on in life: death, taxes, and Ebron routinely dropping passes. Along with being known for dropping the ball––both figuratively and literally––at the worst of times, Ebron’s blocking was horrendous. His four seasons in Detroit are stained by him not reaching his full potential.
Nevertheless, the situations mentioned above have nothing to do with Kyle Pitts.
When the Lions decided against using the franchise tag on Kenny Golladay, they put themselves in the market to add a playmaker. With the Lions having little flexibility in their cap space, adding one via the draft is ideal. And with Jared Goff coming to town, surrounding him with weapons is a must. Jaylen Waddle, Devonta Smith, and Ja’Marr Chase are quality options potentially available to the Detroit Lions with the seventh overall pick.
If the Lions chose to draft one of those wideouts, it would not be the wrong decision.
Even after inking Tyrell Williams to a deal, the Lions still have a glaring need wide receiver. Pitts is projected to land with Philadelphia Eagles at No. 6, and after allowing Zach Ertz to seek a deal elsewhere, they’ll be in the market for a tight end. And Pitts could be there.
However, if Pitts somehow slips down to No.7, the Lions must draft him and not think twice.
Pitts’ height allowed Florida quarterback Kyle Trask to get him the ball in places defenders couldn’t reach. During his time as a Gator, he’s shown the ability to create separation, catch passes while draped by defenders, and a willingness to use his athleticism to make a play. Not to forget, he is a great route runner. His moonlight ability as a tight end and wide receiver make him an incredible asset for any quarterback. In eight games last season with the Gators, he caught 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, which tied him for third among all receivers.
It’s also worth noting, Pitts’ swagger is off the charts.
With Lions head coach Dan Campbell looking to change Detroit’s football culture, Pitts can be the “the guy” next to “the dude” leading that charge. Proof of this notion is looking at footage of his highlights. If Pitts lacked anything on the football field, it for sure was not confidence. Whether it was getting a first down or a touchdown, Pitts did with a touch of flair.
Should the Lions decide to draft Pitts and pair him with T.J. Hockenson, they could create one of the NFL’s most feared tight end duos for years to come.
Kye Pitts might not even be available for the Detroit Lions to select him, rendering the whole idea of drafting him pointless. He’s just that good, and for teams needing an explosive X-factor, Pitts will serve that purpose.
And that’s why, if available, he must become a Detroit Lion.