Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts only played 10 games and failed to reach half of his production from his rookie season in 2022. But he’s still getting quite a bit of respect from the media.
On a list of top tight ends for the 2023 season, CBS Sports’ Tyler Sullivan ranked Pitts at No. 10.
“Kyle Pitts was one of the more frustrating players to try and place on this list. From a talent standpoint, he’s among the very best at the position and probably should be higher than 10,” Sullivan wrote. “He was impressive as a rookie and put together a 1,000-yard season out of the gate, but Pitts has gone downhill since so we’ll settle on him just sneaking in here.
“If he can rebound from this injury and Atlanta throws the football more with second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Pitts return to form and look more like a top-five tight end. In the meantime, we’ll keep him at 10.”
In addition to Sullivan’s ranking, Pro Football Focus’ Nathan Jahnke rated Pitts the No. 1 tight end on his fantasy football dynasty rankings on June 27. The top-ranked Falcons player on Jahnke’s list was running back Bijan Robinson.
Based on his rookie production, the 22-year-old tight end deserves the recognition he received from Sullivan and Jahnke. Pitts led the Falcons with 68 catches and 1,026 receiving yards while making the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
During 2022, though, he ended the season missing the final six games because of a knee injury. Additionally, even before the ailment, Pitts wasn’t heavily involved in Atlanta’s passing attack.
In 10 contests, the 22-year-old had more than 3 catches just twice. He also eclipsed the 80-yard mark just once.
As a rookie, Pitts had 10 games with at least 4 receptions and three contests with more than 80 yards.
However, quarterback Marcus Mariota undoubtably hurt the tight end’s production. Mariota completed only 61% of his passes last year. He also failed to throw for even 200 yards in 10 of his 13 starts.
With Ridder under center, the hope in Atlanta is Pitts will have more opportunities at making big plays. If he does, he could be among the top five tight ends in the league at the end of 2023.