22 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Michael Pittman Jr. Scouting Report

BIO:

Pittman finished among the nationwide leaders with 101 receptions for 1,275 yards (12.6 average) and 11 scores in 13 starts his final year at USC. He received several honors for his play, including Biletnikoff Award finalist, second-team Associated Press All-American, and first-team All-Pac-12 status. His father was a running back at Fresno State played in the NFL for 11 seasons. Pittman also received numerous awards as a Special Teams player during his first 2 years in school.

COMBINE:

6’4” 223lbs

Hands: 9 ½”

Arms: 32 ½”

40: 4.52

Bench: 13

Vertical: 36.5”

Broad: 121”

3 Cone: 6.96

20 Yard Shuttle: 4.14

PROS:

Great size with good, balanced build and good hand size. Size can’t be understated and gets more impressive when you analyze the route running. Very Good athleticism; seamlessly flips the switch from being a technician to winning with athleticism. Uses his good vertical, explosiveness and toughness to become an entirely different player in the course of 1 play. Good release against press; does a good job correlating foot placement with UOH on quick slants creating separation by sticking his foot in the ground and swatting the defender’s hands simultaneously. Does a good job against off coverage disguising routes and making everything look the same. Against soft press, Pittman does a good job getting into the body of the DB when breaking off routes, and possesses a good ability to get on top of the DB and stack the defender on deep routes by gaining inside leverage. Good play strength; possesses strong legs to sink hips and break off routes with crisp moves while losing very little speed. On short to intermediate routes, Pittman does a good job in out/in and curl routes staying friendly for his QB and not giving the defender and chance to get between the receiver and the ball. Good hands; a natural hands-catcher who snatches the ball out in-front and shields defenders with his huge frame. After the catch Pittman turns into a physical runner with good vision and toughness.

CONS:

Adequate top-end speed and arms on the shorter side will present a tighter catch radius that could be most affected by press coverage on short to intermediate routes. Lacks the suddenness to blow-by defenders if his successfully uses his hands beating press coverage.

PROJECTION:

Value wise, if I’m not spending a 1st round pick on him, he’s the best receiver I’ve seen so far. He can work outside, in the slot, on and off the LOS. Good coaches will see past the cons, and can easily be moved around to avoid the situations where the less than advantageous situations present themselves. I project Pittman to be a fit in an offense that has a good, accurate downfield throwing QB, and an offense that likes to utilize bigger receivers in the slot and as redzone weapons. I see a lot of Mike Williams in his game where he has the ability to flip a switch mid-play and go from technician, to beating you with pure athleticism; presenting a situation to the defense where you have to guard 2 different types of players on one play.

Here you see Pittman begin the play inside the numbers, but he does such a good job disguising the route. He drifts outside, giving the illusion he might go deep, but the defender is now stuck in a spot where he wants to ride him towards the sideline, and use the sideline as a 2nd defender but at the same time, not give up the inside leverage. This nuanced ability to sell routes is a great way Pittman makes up for the lack of elite speed. Now, the defender is bailing, thinking he’s going deep and Pittman does a great job sinking the hips, losing his man, and working back towards the QB for the easy completion. Had this been an NFL QB, Pittman most likely doesn’t have to work back 5 yards for the completion either.

Again we have Pittman against Utah; split out wide, trying to get to the middle of the field. This play had me on the edge of my seat…first, you can’t waste steps with a slant like this. The UOH and footwork have to be in sync, and Pittman displays 1st round talent nuances here. To get away from the DB, Pittman does a great job syncing the hands and feet to swat the defender, and stick and go at the same time. Once he’s got separation, he sees that safety, and if you can slow down the video, you can actually see those 2 look at each other. Notice how Pittman gives 2 or 3 strides up-field to sell a SLUGO. Those steps are just enough to pull that safety out of position to avoid being blown up, or a PBU.

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