There’s nothing wrong with these guys.
Pitts ranks 10th among 28th qualifying TEs in both Pro Football Focus receiving grade and yards per route run. Both marks are down from 2021 but are still strong for a 22-year-old, 2nd-year TE.
This is the same elite prospect who tested as a 97th percentile athlete, was drafted 4th overall (highest ever for a TE) and tallied the 2nd most receiving yards by a rookie TE in NFL history.
London’s peripherals are also strong. The 1st-round rookie has commanded a 29% target share through his first 7 NFL games. He ranks 4th among all 84 qualifying WRs and leads all rookie WRs in Pro Football Focus receiving grade. And London’s 2.03 yards per route run is good for 20th among those 84 WRs and 2nd among rookies (behind Chris Olave).
HC Arthur Smith is just smothering any chance of viable pass-catching production in Atlanta. The Falcons have dropped back to pass on just 42% of their snaps so far this season. And it’s only gotten worse lately, with an absurdly low 39% pass rate over the past 5 weeks. Atlanta is averaging just 21.4 pass attempts per game. That’s 2nd lowest league-wide – only because the Bears are also going historically run-heavy. No team since the 2009 Jets has finished with fewer than 25 pass attempts per game.
It’s nearly impossible to post strong pass-catching numbers in this environment. And, frankly, we don’t expect things to change this season.
But Pitts and London are screaming long-term buys based on their talent profiles. The Falcons should land a QB upgrade via free agency or the draft this offseason. And hopefully Smith is canned sometime soon so we can get a 21st century offense up and running in Atlanta.