Just two weeks ago, I wrote an article projecting Dennis Pitta as a fourth round pick. Clearly that was before the Combine.
Pitta then proceeded to wow the scouts by putting in these ranks at the TE position in the combine drills:
40 Yard Dash: 4.63 Seconds, third
Bench Press: 27 Reps, second
Vertical Jump: 34", seventh
Broad Jump: 9'5", fifth
Three Cone Drill: 6.72 seconds, first
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.17 seconds, first
60 Yard Shuttle: 11.53, first
Pitta, by far, surpassed expectations at the Combine. The knock on him coming in was that he didn't have the speed to stretch the field vertically at the next level. He proved that wrong, by posting the third fastest 40 time among all tight ends.
The other knock on him was he was an unproven blocker. He then went on to bench press 225 lbs 27 times, second highest among all tight ends.
He also did very well in interviews at the combine, impressing scouts with his maturity, intelligence, and football IQ.
Given Pitta's production in college, and his combination of speed, size, and strength, he may very well end up being the best tight end in this year's draft.
I'm now projecting him to go before the end of the second round, possibly before the end of the first.
Dennis Pitta has proven he is the complete package. We already knew he was skilled and productive on the football field. There were questions about his strength and athleticism. Those questions have been answered.
And yet, teams seem to be sold on Gresham as the top TE instead. A player that missed the entire season last year. A player that is slower, weaker, less durable, and less productive than Pitta.
Any team that chooses another tight end before Pitta will likely end up regretting it.