The NFL Draft has an elite tight end option in Kyle Pitts. There are other options, like Pat Freiermuth, Brevin Jordan, and Hunter Long are options on day two but function more as developmental or depth options than immediate threats to a position. Using aggregated mock drafts in March and April from Grindingthemocks.com, there are key teams and players to watch as you prepare your dynasty teams before the NFL Draft.
In many ways, the NFL Draft starts at the 4th pick. The first three picks will be quarterbacks with Atlanta the first positional uncertainty. Atlanta could select a quarterback, trade down, or stay and pick, with Pitts the top player on many boards. 22% of mock drafts have the Falcons selecting Pitts, the most common selection after Justin Fields. Current incumbent Hayden Hurst was inefficient last season after he was acquired from Baltimore. Recent trades involving Hurst present an opportunity to cash out:
The Bengals select right after Atlanta at the 5th pick. Cincinnati has Drew Sample, who has underperformed his draft capital, who should not prevent the Bengals from selecting Pitts that early in the draft. With other needs, the Bengals could go in another direction, but watch for Cincinnati to be in the market for tight ends on day two.
The Miami Dolphins figure to represent close to a floor for Pitts in the NFL Draft, particularly if Ja’Marr Chase is off the board when they draft at 6th overall. Current incumbent Mike Gesicki has played more of a slot role than traditional tight end, but would be at risk if Chase is selected by the Dolphins. While wide receiver is the most commonly mocked position, the threat Pitts poses to Gesicki warrants exploring the early second round rookie valuation he has drawn in recent trades.
If Pitts makes it to the seventh pick, the Lions would be in a fascinating situation. With T.J. Hockenson off to a good start, the Lions have a huge hole at wide receiver. If Chase is unavailable, but Pitts is available, he and Hockenson could form a supped up version of New England’s Hunter Henry-Jonnu Smith tandem. The landing spot would likely hurt Hockenson’s value, but Detroit’s skill position landscape is such a desert, Hockenson would still project as a high volume target option.
Other Potential Tight End Destination
The Buffalo Bills expressed interest in Rob Gronkowski in free agency and Dawson Knox has failed to breakout in his first two years in the NFL. The Bills could be a player on day two of the NFL Draft at the position. Knox has been a late round flier in dynasty drafts. The New York Jets have needs everywhere and surrounding their franchise quarterback with weapons should be at the forefront. Current incumbent Chris Herndon has a fourth round rookie pick valuation in trades, but is unlikely to see a difference in valuation if the Jets address the position on day two or three of the draft. Seattle, who has Gerald Everett on a one year deal, Carolina, Washington, and the Los Angeles Chargers could all also be in the market for tight ends.