Kyle Pitts could cost this former first-rounder his roster spot in Atlanta

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The Gators sent a number of players to the professional ranks in the 2021 NFL draft, but the keystone player was undoubtedly tight end Kyle Pitts. The best prospect at his position in recent memory, Pitts’ imposing physicality, impressive body control, and strong hands earned him a spot among the top five players off the board.

Now, after dominating the college football landscape with the Gators, he’ll be playing for the Falcons in 2021. There, he’ll be taking on a heavy workload as the starting tight end and one of the stalwarts of the passing offense.

However, with the franchise rebooting their organizational leadership and roster construction, Pitts’ presence in Atlanta could lead to tight end Hayden Hurst being shown the door. The Draft Network listed the 2018 first-rounder among its list of eight notable cut candidates.

“Hurst [is] not in the same stratosphere as Pitts, who will look to fill a massive role with the Falcons’ offense now without Julio Jones,” wrote The Draft Network. “With new head coach Arthur Smith and general manager Terry Fontenot in place, Hurst’s fifth-year option was ultimately declined, confirming Pitts’ apparent herculean role moving into future seasons.”

For Gators fans who are familiar with just how nightmarish it can be to line up against Pitts, it comes as no surprise that he’ll take on a large role in the upcoming season. Therefore, it can’t be all too shocking that he could cost one of his new teammates a job.

A challenger being brought into camp doesn’t always result in cuts. Sometimes it also unlocks new possibilities through healthy competition, which could be the case with Hurst.

“The Falcons could opt to use a flare of 12 personnel packages with Hurst and Pitts, but the future in Atlanta stems from the former Gator, and Hurst has found himself caught between a rock and a hard place,” concluded The Draft Network.

It isn’t the end of the line for Hurst yet, but Pitts isn’t going to make life easy for him. There’s only one starting job and two first-rounders fighting for it, and Pitts has a clear edge.

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