There are bound to be some spectacular busts in this year’s NFL draft, just like every year before it.
The cold reality of the process is that not every first-round pick can turn into a Hall of Famer, and the players your favorite team takes on Day 3 won’t all be diamonds in the rough who turn into 10-year starters.
That said, the football world can be confident that these five players are destined for stardom at the professional level.
TE Kyle Pitts, Florida
The phrase associated with Pitts that pops up everywhere you look is “nightmare matchup.”
It’s little wonder why draft evaluators universally feel that way, with Pitts’ 6-foot-6, 245-pound frame combined with a 4.44-second 40 time and reliable hands. Pitts is often ranked the No. 2 overall prospect in the class, absurdly high for his position. No tight end has been selected in the top five since 1972, but he might break that mold.
That’s partly due to the rising star potential of his position. From Rob Gronkowski’s heyday to the emergence of Travis Kelce and George Kittle, athletic tight ends have become more valuable — and more desired — weapons in passing games around the NFL. Pitts is ready to join them in the pro ranks.
WR Ja’Marr Chase, LSU
The wide receiver class is stacked this year, with five to seven receivers projected as first-round picks.