TE Kyle Pitts learns the NFL jersey number

Atlanta Falcons select Florida Gators tight end Kyle pitts with the No. 4 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft Thursday night. Pitts made NFL history that night, becoming the most drafted tight end of all time. Pitts also learned which number he will wear in Atlanta on Friday, as he will spot No.8 when he takes the field as a professional.

After the quarterbacks pulled off the board with the top three picks, Pitts was just too good an option for Atlanta to pass up despite their significant need on the defensive end of the ball. Pitts convinced them of this with a monster 2020 season, despite missing games due to a nasty blow that required him to undergo facial surgery midway through the campaign.

Pitts first appeared on the scene in sophomore in 2019 with 54 receptions, 649 yards and 5 touchdowns. Despite only playing eight games due to the aforementioned injury in 2020, Pitts racked up 43 receptions for 770 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

It’s the kind of elite clash nightmare that only happens once every several years, with a high football IQ to back it up.

“I have a unique strength because I have the means to face different people – to open up and score in almost every game,” Pitts said in a press release after signing a clothing contract with Jordan Brand. “I make a game plan. I watch a lot of films of my opponents and I know what they like to do.

“I look at the weak spots, where they get beaten a lot. I look if they slow down the brakes, have tight hips, or like to grab the ground. Just the little things that really add up.”

Hardly anyone was able to stop Pitts this fall, no matter who tried to match him. Pitts torched linebackers and cornerbacks with a variety of speed, savvy road run and length.

The final result ? Pitts became the second Florida player to win the John Mackey Award, while also becoming the first tight end to be named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, awarded annually to the nation’s top pass catcher regardless of position.

Pitts established himself as one of the top 10 picks on his Florida Pro Day, where he put in some ridiculously impressive numbers. He measured on his Pro Day with an 83-3 / 8-inch wingspan, the longest of any tight end or receiver in the past 20 years.

Despite a very long wingspan, Pitts completed 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. Then he launched an unofficial 4.44-second 40-yard sprint, making him a monstrously impressive athlete at 6-foot-6 and 239 pounds.

He will take that formidable frame and athleticism with him to the next level, where many have already identified him as a potential Hall of Fame member thanks to his unusual combination of athleticism and length.

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