NY Jets select TE Kyle Pitts 4th overall in Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft

NY Jets, Kyle Pitts Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets, Kyle Pitts Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets have been connected to various 2021 NFL Draft prospects in recent weeks and months. But Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has the Jets making a puzzling selection — tight end Kyle Pitts.

Kiper projected that the Jets would select Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith with the second overall selection in his first mock draft, another controversial decision that was met with plenty of dissatisfaction.

However, in his second mock, he has the Jets trading down with the Atlanta Falcons to the No. 4 overall pick to select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts.

Not a quarterback. Not a premium position. But a tight end.

Would the NY Jets seriously consider drafting Kyle Pitts?

Now, Pitts is a phenomenal player and one of the best tight end prospects we’ve seen enter the draft in recent years. In fact, even calling him a “tight end” is a little misleading.

At 6-foot-6, 239 pounds, Pitts is more of an oversized wide receiver than a true tight end. His blazing speed and incredible athleticism made him one of the most dynamic players in all of college football a year ago.

In just eight games, the 20-year-old hauled in 43 catches for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns en route to a Unanimous All-American selection. Pitts is an incredible prospect and someone who many believe will be a top-10 pick.

But given the weaknesses up and down the Jets’ roster, it seems hard to believe that they’ll select a tight end in the top-four. Especially given that it’s literally never been done before.

Since the common draft era began in 1967, a tight end has never been picked in the top four selections. Pitts would be the first — and it would certainly be a shock if the Jets were the team to do it.

Aside from the obvious question mark at the quarterback position, the Jets are incredibly thin at other, more important positions such as the offensive line and wide receiver.

Pitts is an offensive playmaker more so than a true “tight end,” but he still doesn’t fill either of those needs.

Despite widespread rumors that the Jets will move on from quarterback Sam Darnold this offseason, Kiper remains adamant that they hold on to the former third overall pick.

It’s why he reached to select Devonta Smith in his first mock and it’s why he’s done the same here with Kyle Pitts.

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The Jets will have their options open this offseason — plenty of scenarios remain on the table. But it’s hard to imagine that making Pitts the highest-drafted tight end of all-time is one of them.