No one was more excited about the Falcons trading Julio Jones out of the NFC South than New Orleans Saints fans, who were tired of having to watch him square off against the Saints secondary twice a year. While Jones might be in Nashville now, the Falcons aren’t taking much of a step backward on offense, as they drafted Kyle Pitts in the first round.
Pitts, the No. 4 overall pick out of Florida, was a dominant tight end during his time in the swamp and is going to bring that nastiness to the division. Pitts might be a tight end but he’ll be the No. 2 weapon in the Falcons’ offense (behind Calvin Ridley).
Zach Tantillo of Pro Football Focus wrote an article about the damage that Ridley and Pitts can do together in Atlanta and offered this analysis on Pitts:
"Pitts’ unique size and athleticism put him in a perfect position to contribute immediately all over the football field. In fact, new Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has stated that Pitts won’t be pigeonholed into a typical tight end role.The opportunity to play multiple positions out of the gate allows Pitts to take advantage of mismatches in the secondary, just like he was able to do at Florida. He recorded a 92.8 PFF grade when lining up as a wide receiver against a cornerback in 2020."
The Saints will have their work cut out for them against Kyle Pitts.
Tantillo mentions how athletic Pitts is and for a tight end, he’s blazing fast too, which makes him even scarier and difficult to cover. Per PFF College, Pitts ran a 4.46 and that’s going to be tough to slow someone that size down when they have that kind of speed.
Saints fans joke that Jones had more fumbles against New Orleans than he did touchdowns and this might be true, but there was no debating how good of a player he was. The Falcons really could have had a terrifying offense with Jones, Ridley, and Pitts, but even without Jones, their offense is going to be hard to stop.
Hopefully, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins, and Marcus Williams are up to the task of attempting to limit Pitts when he faces the Saints twice a year for what could be quite some time.