Draft Profile: Dennis Pitta

NAME – Dennis Pitta

Position – Tight End.

College – Brigham Young.

Status – Senior.

Size/Weight – 6- ½, 245 pounds

Important numbers – 4.63 seconds in the 40-yard dash, 27 reps on bench press, 34-inch vertical jump, 0-foot 5-inch broad jump.

Age – 25.

Honors – Second-team All-America ’09 … first-team All-Mountain West offense ’07-’08-’09 … team captain ’09.

College career – Pitta’s journey through Provo, Utah is quite a story. He was a walk-on back in 2003 out of Moorpark High School in California. He got on the field in the ’04 season as a red-shirt freshman and then spent two years in the Dominican Republic on an LDS church mission. He returned for the ’07 season and became a force in the BYU offense immediately. In his junior season, he caught 83 passes for 1,083 yards and six TDs. He holds most of the tight end receiving records for the Cougars and that’s saying something because they’ve been producing draft-choice tight ends for years.

Stats of note – 50 games/39 starts … 221 catches for 2,901 yards and 21 TDs.

STRENGTHS – Great body control and he’s able to adjust to all types of passes … big and soft hands, that catch the ball away from his body … isn’t gifted with great speed but he can run after the catch thanks to his strength … mature leader who displays a great work ethic.

WEAKNESSES – Lacks a burst off the ball and isn’t explosive starting his route … will not get a lot of separation from defenders and will not be much of a vertical threat … because he’s older than the average ’10 draft choice, some teams question his longevity playing in the league..

THE RIGHT 53? – If a team is looking for a mature player, they won’t find one that fits the mold better than Pitta. He worked hard to elevate himself as a walk-on, and then had to work hard again after two years away from the team to reach the level where he became a major offensive threat. He’s married, is a student of the game and he’s got good bloodlines: his father was a starting MLB for the University of California in the late 1960s.

What he said – “I’m coming into the league a little older than other guys. Maybe my career over the long run may be shortened. But I think I’m coming in with a little more maturity, a little more life experience, if that helps, and there were some important lessons I was able to learn on my mission I’ll be able to apply at the next level: hard work and discipline.”

End game – His advanced age will scare some teams, but there are other clubs that will see a real receiving threat at tight end. He’s probably a third-fourth-fifth round choice, but he could produce quickly thanks to his maturity and work ethic.

ON THE CHIEFS LIST? – It’s likely, but tight end is not a priority position early in the draft. If Pitta is available in the fourth or fifth-round, the Chiefs should give serious consideration to selecting him.

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