Like most NFL Draft analysts, ESPN’s Todd McShay is no stranger to courting controversy. But his recent ranking of one draft prospect got him absolutely blasted on Monday.
On a recent edition of NFL Live, ESPN analyst Jeff Saturday ripped McShay for ranking Florida tight end Kyle Pitts ahead of top wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and DeVonta Smith. Saturday declared that McShay “lost their mind” by ranking Pitts so highly.
Jeff Saturday believes that the McShay is valuing Pitts and the tight end position way too highly. He feels that a quality tight end can be found in the mid- to late rounds of the NFL Draft.
“They lost their mind,” Saturday said, via 247Sports. “I’m not taking away from (Pitts’) talent. What I am taking away from is how NFL defenses play tight ends. And I know this much… I can count on one hand how many tight ends I would say dominate the game week in and week out. What I do know is with those tight ends, most of them are coupled with some fantastic outside receivers. So if I’m picking six or higher, or whatever, and I pick a tight end I would say position specific would tell you to go Ja’Marr Chase. Go (DeVonta Smith). Go one of those guys who can do more to open up your offense than what you’re putting, and I understand we move tight ends all over. We do all these kinds of things, but at the end of the day can he consistently go beat those guys?
“And we have seen, the league has shown you, you can get them in the third round, the second round, the sixth round. Keep naming them, and you can still get those guys. To go spin (taking Pitts) that high to me, I think you’re putting the position ahead of, even as good as he is, of where a guy should be slotted in that draft.”
Historically he’s not far off. Players like Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham all went between rounds two and five.
But Kyle Pitts is coming off a year where he put up some absolutely crazy numbers. He had 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns, and finished 10th in the Heisman Trophy voting. Not bad for a tight end.
He’ll certainly be the first tight end off the board. The only question is how high he’ll go in April.