'Don't freak out!' Jeremiah gives 49ers tight end in mock draft


NFL analyst Daniel Jeremiah released his first 2021 NFL Mock Draft on Friday, and his first-round selection for the 49ers might have some fans stunned.

Jeremiah picked Florida tight end Kyle Pitts to the 49ers with the No. 12 overall pick. The former NFL scout clearly knew he might get some backlash, as his explanation for the pick began with "Don't freak out, people!"

"I know the Niners already have an elite tight end. However, they have embraced the positionless-player movement, and Pitts would team up with George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to give Kyle Shanahan an embarrassment of riches," Jeremiah writes.

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Pitts put together an impressive season with the Gators in 2020, catching 43 passes for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns. He finished 10th in voting for the Heisman Trophy, the first tight end to finish in the top 10 since 1977.

At 6-foot-6, Pitts was a matchup nightmare and one of college football's top pass-catchers in Division I's top passing offense.

The 49ers already have a clear No. 1 tight end and the highest-paid player at the position in George Kittle, but even he likely would appreciate Pitts' willingness and toughness as a blocker.

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Most experts have pointed to the secondary or the quarterback position as areas the 49ers might prioritize in the first round of April's draft, but coach Kyle Shanahan could have a lot of fun running two tight end sets with Kittle and Pitts on the field.


The 49ers also have a pair of young wide receivers in Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk who could benefit from another talented pass-catcher in the fold, especially if Kittle gets banged-up as he did in 2020.

Given that Pitts often ends up in the top 10, if not top five of draft big boards, he could be the best player available to the 49ers should he fall to No. 12. General manager John Lynch might be faced with a difficult decision at that point.