Thoughts of the Day: April 1, 2021

A few thoughts to jump start your Thursday morning:

PITTS DOESN’T DISAPPOINT ON UF PRO DAY

The head coaches and scouts that came to Gainesville for Florida’s pro day expected Mackey Award winning tight end Kyle Pitts to make a good showing. If there were skeptics in the bunch, they left impressed because Pitts looked every bit the part of an kind of athlete who can become an instant star in the National Football League.


By no means was Pitts the only Gator who had a good day Wednesday. Here are some snippets of the top performers:


Kyle Pitts, TE: Pitts wowed the 58 NFL coaches and scouts with his measurables, speed, agility and the ease that he ran his routes and caught the football. He ran a 4.44 on both 40 runs, which only solidified him as the highest rated tight end perhaps in the history of the draft. Pitts had measured an 83-3/8 wingspan (just a shade under 7 feet) while checking in at just a hair under 6-6 and 245 pounds. His hands measured 10-5/8 inches. He posted a 33-5 vertical, benched 22 reps of 225 pounds, did a 10-9 standing broad jump and ran a 4.3 three-cone shuttle. To say he was impressive would be the understatement of the last decade.

Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus says, “He is the best tight end prospect to come along in years and has the skill set to win against cornerbacks in the slot or lined up as a true wideout. Pitts can be an impact player in the passing game, the likes of which we may not have seen before if he lands in the right situation with a coach capable of maximizing that impact.”


Kadarius Toney, WR: Toney’s straight-line speed of 4.39 probably surprised a few scouts, who know him more as a herky-jerky make you miss kind of guy. He did a 39.5 vertical and an 11-4 standing broad jump, plus showed he can run nice route and catch the ball. Barring something unforeseen and totally out of character between now and draft day, he’s solidly in the first round and probably going somewhere between picks 16-22.

Toney on showing off his athletic skills to the scouts: “I came in and handled business like I was really supposed to. I feel like teams got a better feel of the kind of person I am and the kind of skill set I bring to the table. Really, the feedback from teams has been very positive. They tend to have a high interest. First-round would definitely mean a lot to me because I feel like I worked hard enough to get there.”


Kyle Trask, QB: The 40 time wasn’t great (5.1) but a lot of quarterbacks don’t run sub-5.0. Trask measured out at 6-5, 236, but the scouts already knew he will stand tall in the pocket. The biggest thing Trask needed to do was show how he can throw accurately and quickly outside the pocket and grasp a concept and immediately implement it on the field. Mission accomplished on both ends. He solidified himself as a second rounder who, in the right situation, will have a chance to develop into a starter.

Trask on what he showed the scouts: “Really I just wanted to show that I'm not just a statue back there. That I can burst out of the pocket, have little movements within the pocket and still be able to deliver an accurate ball consistently, and I thought I did a pretty good job of that. I want to make sure they knew that I have a strong arm.