Miami Dolphins need to make one more bold draft trade and go all-in for this player

Kyle Pitts (84) of the Florida Gators celebrates a touchdown against the Vanderbilt Commodores at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 9, 2019 in Gainesville, Florida. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images/TNS)
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Greg Cote Miami Herald (TNS)

The Miami Dolphins have been the most interesting, active player in the buildup to the NFL Draft, trading down from the third overall pick to the 12th and then moving back up to the sixth.

But their work shouldn’t be done.

The Fins’ aggressiveness and daring have one bold move left before they are on the clock in the first round come April 29.


Miami should do what it must to get in the Atlanta Falcons’ ear and trade up two spots to the fourth pick, and there should be a determined urgency for one reason:

Kyle Pitts.

There is no one in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker for the Dolphins over the next 10-plus years because there is no one else in this draft who would be a greater difference-maker in what quarterback Tua Tagovailoa becomes.

His Florida Gators coach, Dan Mullen, called Pitts a “unicorn.”

I’d call him a generational talent who had to have been created in the laboratory or imagination of some day-dreaming offensive coordinator.

Pitts is 6-6, 245-pound tight end but really a hybrid with wide receiver speed, great route-running and the longest wingspan ever recorder in a receiver. He would be a matchup nightmare for every defensive coordinator facing the Dolphins — so versatile that Miami could deploy him at tight end, out wide or in the slot.

In the 2019-20 college seasons Pitts had 97 catches and only four drops. Last year 39 of his 43 catches resulted in a first down or touchdown. He averaged 18 yards per catch.

He doesn’t turn 21 until October. He is the non-quarterback betting favorite to be the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year this coming season. Miami hasn’t had one of those since running back Troy Stradford in 1987.

It would cost to bump up to the fourth pick to get him, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” comes to mind.

The draft value chart all teams use indicates a trade up from six to four should cost the equivalent of a third round pick. I’d give that up in a heartbeat for the rights to Pitts.

But it could cost Miami more than that. The Falcons are in a position to demand more because other teams wishing to trade up for a quarterback could make it a bidding war.

Also because Atlanta (after the first three teams to pick are all but guaranteed to take quarterbacks) could really use Pitts as a late-career gift to QB Matt Ryan. Just as Cincinnati, picking fifth, surely could envision Pitts as an early-career gift to make Joe Burrow’s life easier.

Miami already has a pretty good tight end in productive Mike Gesicki, who has 104 catches and 11 touchdowns over the past two seasons. That means this is not a position of need per se, but Pitts is both good enough to color outside those traditional lines and versatile enough that Miami surely would find a way to have both on the field at the same time.

If I were the Dolphins I’d give up a third-round pick and also the team’s lower of two second-round pick to get Pitts if that’s what it took.

Gesicki, DeVante Parker, newly acquired Will Fuller and the potential of Preston Williams lead a decent array of targets at Tagovailoa’s disposal. But adding Pitts could make all the difference for the young QB. The Dolphins need Tagovailoa to make huge strides in his second season and become the game changer they think he’ll be.

Kyle Pitts gets him there like nobody else in this draft.

(Greg Cote is a columnist for the Miami Herald.)
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