From a results-oriented point of view, Year 2 was a massive disappointment for Kyle Pitts. I came away encouraged by his underlying data, though. Pitts drew targets on a healthy 21.7% of his routes as a rookie, and he elevated that rate to an elite level in 2022.

Two players have finished a season with a target per route run rate above 28% and an average depth of target above 13 yards over the past five seasons: Julio Jones (2018) Kyle Pitts (2022).

Past five seasons: (200+ routes run - 28%+ target per route run rate - 10+ yard aDOT):

Pitts drew a target on 28.5% of his routes run in 2022!

The rates for Pitts and Drake London when sharing the field in 2022 suggest that both players could be highly productive in a better offensive environment.

When on the field together in 2022:

  • Kyle Pitts target share: 30%
  • Drake London target share: 30%
  • Kyle Pitts air yardage share: 41%
  • Drake London: 41%

Both could eat if the Falcons upgrade the QB position in the draft.

2021 AY% when on the field-- 39.7%
2022 AY% when on the field-- 41.9%

2021 aDOT -- 10.85 yards
2022 aDOT -- 13.83 yards

2021 average route depth -- 7.7 yards
2022 average route depth -- 8.4 yards

Moving on from the Marcus Mariota era in Atlanta will be huge for Pitts. No matter who is at QB, it is difficult to imagine things being worse for Pitts than they were in 2022.

Highest off-target rates in 2022 (minimum 200 routes):

If Pitts is able to draw targets at a rate that is anywhere near his 28.5% mark from 2022 in Year 3, he could produce explosive yardage totals while occupying such a downfield-oriented route tree.

Pitts is one of Jacob Gibbs' 10 breakouts to target in 2023 drafts based on air yardage and aDOT data. You can find breakdowns of all of Jacobs' breakouts on Sportsline.