The Atlanta Falcons made history when they selected Kyle Pitts with the No. 4 overall pick in 2021. He became the highest- drafted tight end ever when the Falcons made him their selection.
It wasn’t a pick we were particularly happy with at the time considering the state of the Falcons roster. Questions at quarterback, offensive line and a defense that couldn’t stop the run or the pass.
Leading up to the draft we were particularly vocal that Justin Fields should be the pick if the Falcons could not find a trade-down partner.
How does the Pitts pick look in hindsight? The Falcons got a record-breaking tight end in 2021, but injuries and quarterback questions helped limit his production in 2022. He has just three touchdowns in two seasons.
Adam Rank of NFL.com re-drafted the Class of 2021 and had the Falcons go in a similar direction but with a different player: wide receiver Jamar Chase.
OK, so maybe Chase would have been just as underused as Pitts, who has been targeted just shy of 100 times in 27 career games (a knee injury ended his 2022 season prematurely). Either way, I’d argue Chase — the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year — is the much better player, and the Falcons would have been wise to take him here.Adam Rank, NFL.com
Justin Fields was already off the board at No. 2 to the New York Jets and Micah Parson goes No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Though the 49ers likely wouldn’t have traded three first-round picks to the Miami Dolphins for a linebacker/edge rusher no matter how good Parsons has been.
So with the Dolphins at No. 3, they might have selected Chase anyway.
Then Parsons at four in a re-draft?
That works for me.
Pitts falls to LA Chargers at pick No. 13 in Rank’s re-draft.
The Chargers did such a great job landing Slater, and though he’s gone by this point in our redraft, they could go after an offensive lineman again. But the idea of putting Pitts on a team with Justin Herbert at quarterback is just too hard to resist.Adam Rank, NFL.com
The Falcons shouldn’t have too much buyer’s remorse on Kyle Pitts. He’s a young (still just 22) building block on a team in the middle of a rebuild. The idea that taking Pitts was a “win now” move as told by the national media was nonsense.
What wasn’t public at the time was that Julio Jones wanted out of Atlanta. As a long-term replacement for Julio Jones, taking Kyle Pitts made a lot of sense.
Would the Falcons prefer Chase or Parsons in hindsight? Maybe… but they’re happy with who they’ve got, and that’s all teams can really ask for two years after the draft.