Trading up to secure the No. 3 overall pick in next week’s 2021 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers are set to select a quarterback from this year’s stacked pool. But, one ESPN analyst believes the franchise should take a different route.
Chris Fallica, a longtime producer for ESPN’s College GameDay, thinks Kyle Shanahan and the Niners front office should draft Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to pair alongside superstar TE George Kittle — keeping Jimmy Garoppolo on as QB1 and giving him some extra weapons.
“Why wouldn’t the 49ers draft Kyle Pitts and put him and Kittle on the field at the same time? They added Trent Williams and were in Super Bowl two years ago with Jimmy G,” Fallica wrote on Twitter. “Why take a QB there is no guarantee will pan out when you can make your team a lot better with Pitts?”
Why wouldn't the 49ers draft Kyle Pitts and put him and Kittle on the field at the same time? They added Trent Williams and were in Super Bowl two years ago with Jimmy G. Why take a QB there is no guarantee will pan out when you can make your team a lot better with Pitts?
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) April 24, 2021
In order to acquire the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft, the 49ers gave up their No. 12 pick, a 2022 third-round pick and first-round picks in 2022 and 2023. As noted by Fallica in a follow-up tweet, this would sure be a lot to give up in order to draft a tight end option who’s likely to fall further in the order anyways.
As of right now, it seems San Francisco is dead set on selecting an option from the second tier of elite QBs in this year’s class (ie. Justin Fields, Mac Jones, Trey Lance). This despite the team’s continued assertions that Garoppolo will remain with organization through the 2021 season. The presumed plan is for the No. 3 pick to serve as the former Super Bowl QB’s backup until they’re ready to take the reigns.
But, if the franchise were to put its full trust in Jimmy G as their guy moving forward — it would certainly make for an interesting offensive unit.
As one of the most highly-touted tight end recruits of all time, Pitts will provide a unique skill set wherever he goes. Standing 6-foot-6, weighing 246 lbs and running a blistering 4.44 second 40-yard dash, the former Gator boasts a near-unprecedented combination of size and athleticism. Pairing him alongside one of the NFL’s best tight ends in Kittle, Pitts would be a perfect fit as a combo WR/TE in a two tight end system.
Unfortunately for fans, we almost certainly won’t be seeing that dynamic duo anytime soon.
Multiple draft analysts have Pitts going as early as No. 4 to the Atlanta Falcons. The draft will kickoff on Thursday, Apr. 29.