The Atlanta Falcons picked Kyle Pitts higher than any franchise had ever drafted a tight end when they selected him with the fourth overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pitts is supporting that selection with historical success.
Pitts became just the second rookie tight end in NFL history to tally 1,000 yards receiving in Sunday's 29-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills.
With a 61-yard catch from quarterback Matt Ryan in the first half, Pitts joined Hall of Famer Mike Ditka as the only rookies in league history to hit the mark in their first season. Pitts finished the game with 69 receiving yards on two catches, giving him 1,010 on the season.
Unfortunately, Pitts also injured his hamstring in the game. Head coach Arthur Smith had no update after the game.
If his hamstring holds up, Pitts will zero in on Ditka's rookie record of 1,076 yards set in 1961 with the Chicago Bears. The first-year TE needs 67 yards in the season finale against the Saints to break the mark.
While "Iron Mike" was an all-time talent known for his ability to run through would-be tacklers and his toughness, Pitts is heralded for his versatility and ability to line up just about anywhere on the field for Atlanta's offense.
Entering Sunday's Week 17 contest, Pitts had 949 yards receiving and needed 51 to hit the magical 1,000-yard plateau. He got it and he's still going strong with Ditka's record, which has stood for 60 years, perhaps next up.