Michael Pittman Jr’s father was a long-time NFL running back, who played for the Cardinals, Buccaneers and Broncos. His father has given him the skills to navigate the football world and his son has shown the ability to be an NFL starter at wide receiver.
A shoulder injury slowed his progress down, as he missed two games and needed offseason surgery following USC’s 2018 season. The good news is that he recovered well and turned in a great 2019 season, with 101 receptions for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns, on his way to multiple awards and Biletnikoff Award finalist.
At 6’4”, 223 pounds, Pittman’s 4.52 40 at the combine was enough to satiate scouts need for speed, especially for a receiver who wins in 50/50 situations more than not. Pittman’s numbers suggest he’s solely a possession receiver, as he averaged just 12 yards per reception last season. But, Pittman does have the ability to win deep as well.
His drop rate is one of the best in all of college football and he tracks the football well in the air. His trouble is getting separation out of the blocks, but he can create separation once in his route. Most scouts like him as a solid WR2 in the league, who will start throughout his career.
Big, smart and reliable, Pittman falls into the “possession receiver” bin, but has top-notch ball skills that allow him to bully and best cornerbacks down the field. Improving release quickness against press will be an early focal point in an NFL camp, but his frame and physicality should create work space underneath even with close coverage. — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Hands are exceptional. Very few drops throughout the course of his career and he plucks the football tightly outside of his frame. Strong mitts plus his catch radius can help make a quarterback more accurate. Tracks the football well and makes great adjustments to get himself into position to make plays; over the shoulder tracking is excellent. Ball skills are generally strong. Has impressive moments of body control and concentration, especially for his size — Joe Marino, The Draft Network
Mock Draft Results
Fantasy impact: Rookie year
Pittman’s rookie value depends on landing spot, but as a likely second round pick, he won’t be set up for a huge workload early on. The odds are that he’ll land a No. 3 receiver job at best and have a couple streamable fantasy games his rookie season.
Fantasy impact: Career
Pittman has the ability to become an above average fantasy player, who grabs 80 passes a season and lands in the Top-24 fantasy wide receivers each season. Again, much will depend on his landing spot, but the ability is there and he should be a target in the second or third round of your dynasty rookie drafts.