The Atlanta Falcons drafted tight end Kyle Pitts fourth overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to be the new face of their offense. So far in 2022, however, he’s more of an afterthought.
While rookie wideout Drake London is getting plenty of looks, Pitts seems to be drawing far more coverage and has been used more as a blocker and decoy than main target. In two games, he has four catches for 38 yards and no touchdowns. Per ESPN, Pitts is not even in the top 100 in yards amassed among receivers.
Pitts, however, told The Athletic’s Josh Kendall he’s more frustrated with himself than anyone else.
“I’m not going to the coaches and yelling,” Pitts said. “I’m not going to Marcus (Mariota) and yelling. It is what it is. It’s a long season. Definitely, I am frustrated with myself because I am a hard critic on myself. That’s just a me thing. I just want to perform at my highest ability.”
It’s understandable that Pitts wants more from himself in his second NFL season. He amassed 1,026 yards receiving and one TD reception as a rookie — good enough to make the Pro Bowl. However, the former Florida star had Matt Ryan, a former NFL MVP, throwing him the ball in 2021. Journeyman Mariota’s game is geared more to intermediate passing.
Although Pitts doesn’t have big numbers, Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said his impact on the offense is profound.
“You just have to take it with context,” Smith said, via The Athletic. “Other guys made plays. It’s not fantasy football. We’re just trying to win. We will continue to look at everything and try to get better.”