Pros: Has a nice first step. Has nice strength for his size and does a better job vs. the run than you would expect. Has a pretty good motor that is a hard worker. Closes on the ball carrier and does a nice job making plays in pursuit.
Cons: Not explosive off the edge and won't consistently beat NFL tackles. Needs to improve his recognition. Can get pushed back at the point of attack and struggles to get off blocks. Lacks the ideal athleticism and speed to operate in space, making conversion to linebacker iffy.
Overview: Pittman is an undersized defensive end that doesn't have the ideal athleticism to move to linebacker. Struggled with recognition in most of the games I saw, but did show some improvement at times as the game progressed indicating coachability. Foot injury and torn Achilles cost him all of 2005 and 2006 seasons, granting him a sixth year of eligibility this past year. Which allowed him to be part of 2 National Title teams. Also younger brother of end Thomas Pittman, who spent some time with Cleveland and Denver from 2002-04.
NFL Forecast: Pittman is probably destined to be a situational pass rusher. In that role, he can be a capable player. Probably not going to be a starter. He could get bigger, but would probably only at best be average vs. the run, and adding weight will probably slow him down. If a team tries to convert him to linebacker, he'll wash out. He's a natural end that just needs to add about 10 pounds optimally to fit as a situational pass rusher. He might develop into a decent starter a couple of years down the line, but more than likely will only start because the team doesn't have any better options.
ATL Forecast: Pittman would be a good fit as a situational pass rusher for the Falcons. He would be better than Biermann because he's a little more explosive. He'll help the Falcons rotation and give them another pass rush option to rotate with Abraham, but he'll probably never be a starter here. But could be a valuable backup.
Value: Pittman would be a good late round pick that should ideally go in the fifth or sixth round. Perhaps a late fourth round pick, but we'd start to get into the reach area.
Scouting Reports of defensive ends in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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