2021 NFL Draft: Who goes first, Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase?

Kyle Pitts, Florida football (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Kyle Pitts, Florida football (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /

Kyle Pitts of Florida and Ja’Marr Chase of LSU killed it at their respective pro days Wednesday, but which player should go first in the 2021 NFL draft? 

You might reason that 2021 NFL draft prospects doing their pro days are running some very fast times, but with the times posted by Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase of Florida and LSU on Wednesday, you know it’s legit.

Kyle Pitts, who put together a spectacular season for Florida football in 2020, ran the 40-yard dash in a 4.44 on Wednesday, which should only solidify his status as a top pick.

But will he go in the top five? He certainly looked the part on Wednesday.


It also reaffirms what he saw on the field last year for the Gators when Pitts averaged 17.9 yards per reception, which is unheard of for a tight end who caught 43 passes. He turned those receptions into 770 yards and 12 touchdowns.

As you can see, some have Pitts rated very highly, but he’s probably not going to be a top-two pick and he might not even go in the top five.

One reason for that is Ja’Marr Chase of LSU, even though he opted out of the 2020 season. Chase was dominant in 2019 with Joe Burrow and on Wednesday, he ran a 4.38.

What does this do for their 2021 NFL draft stock?

Chase caught 80 passes for 1,784 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019, which is pretty incredible. The 6-foot receiver also has the rapport with Burrow after they played together in college, who plays QB for the Bengals — the team that just happens to own the No. 5 pick.

Chase talked about what it would be like to play with Burrow on Wednesday.

Having chemistry could certainly help Chase make an earlier impact and teams always want to keep their quarterback happy, but at the same time, it’s hard to see Burrow being upset about Pitts being the pick.

Chase is 6-foot, while Pitts is 6-foot-5. He’s a mismatch nightmare. Pitts is basically a glorified receiver but he will torment NFL teams in a way similar to that of Travis Kelce.

Pitts is big enough to dominant in the red zone, but fast enough to go out wide, in the slot, and even get deep. His position might say tight end, but for all intents and purposes, he’s a wide receiver, masking as a move tight end.

But, the Bengals also need a guy to replace A.J. Green and it’s hard to argue with the resume of Chase. Plus, a decision could benefit Miami, which is hoping to probably land one of the top pass catchers with the No. 6 overall pick.

The Eagles traded out of that spot and now it seems like the ideal spot for an elite pass catcher, whether it be Pitts, Chase, or Devonta Smith.

Next. First round 2021 NFL mock draft. dark

But with these 40 times, you wonder if a team might even make a trade up, maybe with the Falcons, if they are looking to move back and not select a quarterback. As possible as it is for four quarterbacks to go in the top five, it wouldn’t be shocking if Pitts and Chase were each top-5 picks too when the 2021 NFL draft finally rolls around.