Pitts should work as Atlanta's No. 2 pass catcher from the get-go now that the team has traded Julio Jones to the Titans, ESPN.com reports. There was some concern about Pitts' target volume when he was selected fourth overall in the 2021 draft to join an offense that was expected to feature two of the league's top receivers in Jones and Calvin Ridley. But Jones' departure should help Pitts immediately carve out a role as the top complement to Ridley. The highly skilled tight end figures to be among the top receiving threats at his position right away. Pitts often was split out wide near the goal line to catch fade routes in the end zone at Florida, and such usage could now be an option as well with no established No. 2 wide receiver on Atlanta's roster.
The Falcons selected Pitts in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, fourth overall. Pitts (6-foot-6, 245) is pretty much a one-of-a-kind prospect at tight end, offering both major long-term upside and probably a high floor in the meantime. The Falcons have a long-term need at quarterback and had an opportunity to take one here, but Pitts is so solid as a prospect that this pick is still easily justified. Pitts outplayed pass catchers like 2020 Rams second-round pick Van Jefferson and likely high 2021 pick Kadarius Toney at Florida, yet he doesn't turn 21 until October. With Pitts, Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley running routes the Falcons will likely throw more passes with lighter formations than new coach Arthur Smith called in Tennessee. For dynasty league purposes Pitts is in the top three at tight end, and in redraft leagues he might warrant a top-12 spot at the position. His arrival to Atlanta is very good news for Matt Ryan.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/19||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||21||7.80|
|3||09/26||@New York Giants||11||6.63|
|4||10/03||Washington Football Team||9||6.47|
|5||10/10||New York Jets||32||11.25|
|9||11/07||@New Orleans Saints||18||7.56|
|11||11/18||New England Patriots||7||6.13|
|13||12/05||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||21||7.80|
|15||12/19||@San Francisco 49ers||1||4.50|
|18||01/09||New Orleans Saints||18||7.56|