Kyle Pitts becomes second rookie tight end with 1,000 yards in NFL history

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  • Atlanta Falcons
    Atlanta Falcons
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  • Kyle Pitts
    Kyle Pitts
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  • Mike Ditka
    Mike Ditka
    Former American football player

Kyle Pitts had a lot to live up to heading into his NFL career. The former Gator was regarded as one of the best tight end prospects in history heading into the 2021 NFL draft, and he was taken by Atlanta with the fourth pick, making him the highest-drafted tight end in the common era of the draft.

Even with the expectations sky-high, Pitts has impressed as a rookie. He’s been the featured player in Atlanta’s passing game, especially with Calvin Ridley taking an extended leave of absence this season. And now, he’s reached an impressive milestone.

With his two catches for 69 yards against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, Pitts reached 1,018 yards on the season, becoming the first rookie tight end to break the 1,000-yard mark since Mike Ditka in 1961. Pitts is now 58 yards shy of Ditka’s rookie record, a mark he could reach in the season finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Of course, Ditka’s mark is made even more impressive by the fact that he accomplished it in 14 games, but that doesn’t detract from Pitts’ stellar play this season. He passed Tony Gonzalez for the most single-season receiving yards for a tight end in franchise history earlier this season, and he’s the first rookie tight end to make the Pro Bowl since Jeremy Shockey in 2002.

Pitts isn’t done yet, and he will try to add another accolade to his resume against the Saints on Sunday.

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