After much speculation, the Atlanta Falcons have selected tight end Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 pick in the NFL Draft.
Taking Pitts is a bold move for new general manager Terry Fontenot and new head coach Arthur Smith. To ignore the gaping holes across the entire Falcons team to take another receiver takes guts.
In 2020 the Falcons finished dead last in total defense, had the 27th ranked rushing attack, allowed the fifth most sacks and have a quarterback that will be 36 heading into the 2021 season.
The Falcons have to hope that Smith’s two tight end set and power running attack can take some pressure off of Matt Ryan The inability to move the ball on the ground and protect Matt Ryan has been the undoing of many drives.
The inability to get stops when it mattered most, grind out the clock, and blow lead after lead has haunted fans.
How does taking Pitts solve those issue?
That’s a good question.
Pitts might not be the player to move the team forward in 2021, but Julio Jones will need to be replaced as soon as this year if the offense doesn’t want to go backwards. Best case scenario, Pitts is a ready made replacement for Jones.
Jones is going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he’s eligible. If the Falcons can get another player like that at four, it will be worth it in the long term, even if it seems illogical on many fronts in the short term.
The Falcons were in a tight spot if they weren’t sold on getting a quarterback of the future, because there wasn’t an elite defensive prospect available in the Top 5. Passing on Justin Fields of Kennesaw, Ga. is a decision that could haunt the Falcons for years down the road, depending on how long Ryan can play at a high level and who they eventually get to replace him.
Kyle Pitts was the illogical pick, but he’s one of the most exciting prospects in this draft. If the Falcons can keep Matt Ryan upright this season, Pitts should provide a good third option to Jones and Calvin Ridley, or maybe a second option if Jones is moved this offseason.