As a Florida fan this is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. It’s always good to see your guys show out in front of the NFL scouts after supporting their growth from the time they’re recruited out of high school and you first learn who they are. This year, Florida has a host of talent and three guys who could all have their name called on day one. Kyle Pitts, Kyle Trask, and Kadarius Toney are all capable of that. The pro day yesterday went very well for the boys, and here are my takes.
The story of Kyle Trask continues after barely getting an offer coming out of high school as a back up quarterback. The former two star recruit landed with the Gators as his only division one offer, and put his head down and worked. He was patient, didn’t transfer when given the opportunity, got hurt, waited again, got another shot, and was ready when it was his turn to step up.
Dan Mullen loves to run QB options and reads on the defence, so in college Trask has a fair few QB ‘runs’. However he’s not going to be doing that in the NFL. His mobility for a modern day QB is not at the right level. His 40 time was never going to be fast but to be honest at 5.11 was even slower than I imagined it might be. However you can clearly see he’s been putting the work in on his body, and Pitts joked that he now has a six pack. He’s in better shape than he’s ever been, and looked the part of a top recruit yesterday.
Because of his lack of mobility, teams looking at Trask need to see his pocket dominance. He needs to be accurate sitting in the pocket, needs to stand his ground to make throws, and have something special about his arm talent to make up for the lack of mobility. If there’s one thing Dan Mullen should br recognised for, it’s his incredible record with college quarterbacks. He coached Alex Smith, Dak Prescott, and of course Tim Tebow during his heisman era. Mullen highlighted the work Trask has done on his footwork and pocket awareness, and those things were also on display as he worked out yesterday in front of many NFL scouts.
Trask did a solid job yesterday, but not quite enough to be a day one guy for me. His 6 foot 6, 248 pound frame will help him assert himself in the pocket, but he’ll need to be extremely accurate and confident as a pure passer, which is what the NFL scouts are going to need to assess. He did very well on the day, and I was impressed with what was a very long workout for a pro day. He certainly left it all out there. For me he’s a great fit with Atlanta on day two, or somebody like Pittsburgh or New England. A year or two learning behind an NFL great will be very good for Trasks game.
I love Kyle Trask, he’s a hard working kid, and deserves his shot at the next level. He threw with some serious power yesterday, and looks to have strengthened his arm. His slants were firing out and on target, his middle distance routes were accurate, and he launched a couple of deeps balls for the crowd too. His arm strength is not as powerful as some of the other guys, but you can tell he’s really worked hard on getting the ball out, and firing it with power and velocity. He looked impressive in that area, which was great to see.
Likely an early to mid day two guy for me now. He’s a project, but teams will like the fact that he’s a calm, humble young man with the desire to learn. His patience at the college level paid off for him, and I hope to see the same for him at the next level. Great to see Kyle Trask back in Gainesville with his receivers one more time before he takes that next step.
Kadarius is the latest name to be given that Tyreek Hill stamp, and to be honest it makes a lot of sense. He’s the most unique gadget in the draft on the offensive side this year. Some of his highlight plays look simply impossible. The way he cuts, stops on a dime, jukes and moves in insane. There are times when his knee almost hits the ground while he’s changing direction. He’s nicknamed ‘the human joystick’ for a reason. This is not Toney falling down, this is a juke…
Teams should be excited about his play making ability, and his separation at the college level was very very good. He can leave a corner at the line of scrimmage in man coverage, and create 4 to 5 yards of separation, making it look easy in the process. Toney improved tremendously in 2020, as in previous years he used to try and do too much and get himself in trouble losing yardage. In 2020 we didn’t see that, he was more north and south, and learned how to use his unique skills more to his advantage.
He ran a 4.39 unofficial 40 time, with a 6.88 in the three cone and a 39.5 inch vertical. Considering his height at 5″11, these are great numbers. He did look a tad hesitant with his burst at the point of the catch in the field workouts. Almost as if he wanted to make sure he was making the catch and slowing himself down. That shouldn’t matter too much, as the draw to Toney is his route running, after catch ability, plus what he brings to the game in kick returns, punt returns, and hand offs in the backfield. He really is a weapon, and would fit well with a contender at the back end of the first round. Please don’t let him land with the Chiefs… Good luck covering them if he does.
Saving the best til last, I now don’t really know what else we can say about the guy. He didn’t miss a beat at the pro day. He was every bit as good as the scouts thought he might be, and even though he kicked off his 40 yard dash on a slight wobble, he still ran a 4.44 as a tight end.
MORE: Kyle Pitts Draft Profile
I’ve had the pleasure of watching Kyle Pitts for the last few years, and this past season he kicked it up a notch. He was already heralded the best tight end in the country before the season began, with a few calls being made for Pat Freiermuth at Penn State, and some Miami fans claiming Brevin Jordan was better… but those soon fell off. Pitts was uncoverable all year. He’s a match up nightmare. He’ll beat every linebacker on a route, and then out run them. He can out muscle you and fight through hands and contact to get to his spot. He’ll burn right by you with tremendously long strides and quickness, and if you put a corner or safety on him he’ll just jump right over you. Teams are going to have to account for his every move. Wherever he is you’ll need a plan, and whoever drafts him should line him up all over the place to cause that confusion. He can play on the outside, and he should. He can play on the inside, and he should do that too. He was a match up nightmare in college and it will likely be exactly the same in the NFL.
If you’re a fan of one of the top 5 teams and your current argument not to draft Kyle Pitts is his blocking ability… stop it. You can’t make that case it’s total nonsense. Pitts is an able blocker, is he the best? No. Will he do it and do it well? Yes. Should it affect your decision to draft him? Absolutely not. Pitts measured with a wingspan of 83′ 3/8. This makes him the longest of any wide receiver or tight end in the last 20 years. He has a longer wingspan than Mekhi Becton, who was the monster left tackle drafted by the Jets last year, and this record was previously held by DK Metcalf, so he’s lengthier than him too…
His connection with Kyle Trask has been special for the last couple of seasons, and as a fan it was great to see that Kyle to Kyle connection one last time. Pitts didn’t miss a beat during the on field workout. He was exceptional. His strides drew attention, and Daniel Jeremiah commented saying “just look at how much ground he covers”. He really is special, and Dan Mullen described him as “A unicorn, and the only way to cover a unicorn is with another unicorn”.
You’re getting everything you could possibly want for in an offensive weapon. “More Kelce than Kittle” was the phrase used yesterday, and that’s not bad company to be in. If Pitts pans out the way he’s planned to, he’s going to be one of the most exciting talents to watch for years to come. You don’t want to be the team that overthinks the pick and passes him up. He’ll be gone by 6, and lands with either Atlanta, Cincy, or Miami.
Among others working out were WR Trevon Grimes, CB Marco Wilson, and safeties Brad Stewart and Donovan Stiner. i’d expect all four to be day three guys, but do believe Grimes could be a late day two with his potential. The issue is he was never a true number one, which he could have been on a smaller program at another school. His 6 foot 4 frame makes him hard to cover on the outside, and he could definitely find a role in the NFL. He’ll be drafted between rounds 3 and 5 for me.
Marco Wilson made a horrific mistake launching a shoe which cost the Gators a game last year, I’m still not happy about it now. He’s showed bursts of good quality in college, but not enough to be drafted and I was surprised to see him declare this year. However his performance yesterday was off the charts and might have been enough to get him drafted. Fair play to the young man for putting the work in. He ran a 4.34, benched 26 reps!!! 26 for a corner is a lot of reps, and then he jumped through the ceiling in the vertical jump. He clipped the top of the bar, with a 43.5 inch vert…
Stiner and Brad Stewart might find themselves picked up late on day three, but could also be undrafted guys who get themselves into a training camp with a team. Both have some great plays for the Gators, and I wish every guy the best on draft night. I’ll be waiting to hear their names called across the three days as I do every year. Good luck to all of our seniors and draft candidates, go be great, and Go Gators.