PROS: He has good strong hands with good body control and concentration. Can lay out for the pass. Has decent speed. Does a nice job shielding away the defender and can make the catch in traffic.
CONS: Lacks the speed to stretch defenses and doesn't show ideal burst to get separation from the defender. Is lacking as a blocker that has limited strength and technique and is not very physical. Mainly just gets in the way as a blocker.
OVERVIEW: He was a very productive tight end that was the favorite target of Max Hall. He worked mostly in the slot and ran a lot of short curls and option routes, which took advantage of the strong rapport he had with Hall.
NFL FORECAST: Pitta is a very similar player to Chase Coffman last year. And I think for a team trying to make him into a traditional inline tight end, they are going to have some troubles. Pitta might have the best hands of any tight end in the class and is a very natural receiver. But he's not the biggest, fastest, or strongest. He can be very productive in a Dallas Clark-like role where he works mostly out of the slot. But as a traditional inline tight end, he'll struggle initially. Needs a lot of improvement as a blocker, and even with a few years of work under his belt will probably never be anything more than below average. As a receiver, he'll be able to impact. He won't be a game-breaker, but would be a very good security blanket, especially for a young passer. In the right offense he could be very productive, catching 60+ catches.
ATL FORECAST: Pitta is a nice option as a potential successor to Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons used Gonzalez a lot in the slot, and they would likely have to do even more with Pitta in order to maximize his impact early on. He'll probably be similarly a liability as a blocker like Gonzalez. As a receiver, his hands are good like Gonzalez, but he doesn't quite have the same athleticism to be a go-to option in the offense. He'd be a nice security blanket for Ryan, but he's not good enough to be featured. If the Falcons adapted their offense to suit his strengths, he coudl be a capable starter by his second season. But if they wanted him to become a more traditional inline tight end, he probably would only have limited contributions until his third or fourth year.
VALUE: Pitta is a solid middle round pick. He'd make a nice third rounder for a team that wanted to use him in a Dallas-Clark like role. Everyone else should probably hold off until the fourth round.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.