Former Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts is the non-quarterback prize of the 2021 NFL Draft, the apple of many draft analysts’ eyes. With a major run on quarterbacks expected early, there is a very good chance he could be the first player outside of that position to come off the board. The question for bettors is, how soon will that be?
Let’s take a look at the BetOnline odds for those Pitts’ over/under draft slot:
- Over 5.5 (-110)
- Under 5.5 (-130)
NFL offenses are constantly trying to create mismatches and one could argue that there is no player in the class that gives an offensive coordinator a better opportunity to do that than Pitts. Pitts has sure hands and a wide catch radius to go along with his quickness. He’s extremely agile for a player who’s a shade under 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds and has plenty of run-after-catch ability. He can create separation like a top wide receiver, which is why he’s often referred to as an “offensive weapon” rather than simply a tight end. Simply put, Pitts is a game-breaker who appears to be a bonafide top-10 pick.
For this bet, we need to narrow it down further than that, though—the cut-off line is between the fifth and sixth picks of the draft. Here are the teams that should be or are believed to be interested in Pitts:
- Atlanta Falcons (No. 4 overall)
- Cincinnati Bengals (No. 5 overall)
- Miami Dolphins (No. 6 overall)
- Detroit Lions (No. 7 overall)
- Carolina Panthers (No. 8 overall)
- Dallas Cowboys (No. 10 overall)
Given the presumption that quarterbacks go Nos. 1-3, Pitts doesn’t come into play until Atlanta is on the clock. Now, they may choose to take a quarterback as well or trade out of the pick altogether. In either of those cases, Pitts won’t be the pick. If they stick at No. 4 and don’t take a quarterback, Pitts and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell are the two logical choices for them to pick from with what feels like an equal probability of going either way. The Bengals are up one pick later. While Pitts would be a fantastic selection for them, it’s hard to imagine them passing on either Sewell (for long-term offensive line help) or wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (the player their franchise quarterback is lobbying for).
This leaves under bettors in a precarious position if you subscribe to the logic above. To cash this bet, you have to bank on Atlanta staying at No. 4 and passing on both a quarterback and Sewell. Over bettors have the luxury of knowing four of the top five picks may be quarterbacks anyway, with the fifth team possibly having Pitts as the No. 3 player left on their board. Therefore, I predict that Pitts falls just outside of the top five on April 29 in Cleveland—but he won’t have to wait long to hear NFL commissioner Roger Goodell call his name.
Best Bet: Over 5.5 (-110)
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