Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

49ers select TE Kyle Pitts, CB Tyson Campbell in latest PFF mock draft

Feb 22, 2021 at 8:11 AM--

Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus calls former Florida tight end Kyle Pitts a "generational" prospect leading up to the reveal of the analytics site's latest mock draft — a two-round affair. He notes that his selections don't necessarily predict what he believes NFL teams will do in the upcoming draft, but what he would do if he were making each of the selections for each organization.

Treash has Pitts lasting until the No. 12 overall pick, where the San Francisco 49ers are slated to make their first selection, and sees the tight end as a good addition to Kyle Shanahan's roster.

"Pairing Pitts with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Kyle Shanahan's brain is an opportunity too good to pass up," wrote Treash. "That right there would be a scary personnel package to defend."

"Pitts generated a 96.2 PFF grade this year, more than five grading points higher than any other tight end and well above the previous record set by former FAU Owl and now-Cleveland Brown Harrison Bryant in 2019 (92.5). The Giants receiving corps was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020 — the selection of Pitts goes a long way toward changing that."

It's also worth noting that the 49ers could lose fullback Kyle Juszczyk in free agency. Should that happen, adding another tight end to pair with Kittle for some more two-tight-end sets might make sense should Shanahan choose to evolve his offense in that direction.

Pitts (6-6, 246) caught 100 passes for 1,492 yards and 18 touchdowns in his three collegiate seasons with the Gators. He hauled in 43 passes for 770 yards with 12 touchdowns as a junior in 2020.

"The versatile tight end played just shy of 64% of his offensive snaps inline," continued Treash, "but he dominated unlike any other tight end we had ever seen when he lined up out wide in single coverage. Pitts went toe-to-toe with press coverage when lined up out wide for 40 receiving snaps this season and came away with seven explosive receptions of 15-plus yards on those opportunities. We have never seen a tight end record more than two of those in a single year before Pitts this season."

Pairing Pitts with Kittle could create a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. The draft prospect was the John Mackey Award recipient, a unanimous All-American selection, and named first-team All-SEC for the second consecutive year.

Treash has the 49ers addressing one of their biggest offseason needs — cornerback — in the second round (No. 43 overall) with the selection of Tyson Campbell of Georgia. The team will have to address the position this offseason. Richard Sherman, K'Waun Williams, Jason Verrett, and others are all scheduled to become free agents.

"San Francisco is low-key kind of screwed this offseason when it comes to their secondary," explains Treash. "They will have little to no cap space after re-signing tackle Trent Williams, and all but one key defensive back from last year's squad is set to be a free agent. They'll have to make a move for at least one defensive back within the first few rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, and Campbell in Round 2 would be a great fit."

Campbell (6-2, 185) had 29 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, an interception, and five passes defensed through 10 starts as a junior in 2020. He started 11 of 14 games as a freshman in 2018, recording 45 tackles, and missed five games due to injury as a sophomore.

"Campbell is the classic corner prospect story: He has the physical tools but little to no ball production to show for it," added Treash. "The 6-foot-2, 185-pound corner has the length desired on the outside and is a fluid mover who won't get burnt deep. Despite that, he was far from a playmaker and looked more like a reactor out there. Campbell produced a middling 13.6% forced incompletion rate in his final two years at Georgia."

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