The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft has come and gone. For the first time since 2016, a pair of Gators were selected in the first round.
Tight end Kyle Pitts was drafted No. 4 overall by the Atlanta Falcons (the highest a tight end has ever been drafted) while WR Kadarius Toney was selected by the New York Giants with the No. 20 pick.
With the 4th pick in the #NFLDraft, we have selected TE Kyle Pitts.
Welcome to Atlanta, @kylepitts__!
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) April 30, 2021
Welcome to Big Blue, Kadarius Toney!
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 30, 2021
Pitts, a native of Philadelphia, hauled in 43 receptions for 770 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to winning the Mackey Award as the nation’s best tight end. The dynamic receiver is a matchup nightmare and is described as a “unicorn” according to his position coach, Tim Brewster. The slotted amount for the No. 4 pick is $32.9 million with a $21.3 million signing bonus.
Toney saw a significant jump in his draft stock with an outstanding year in 2020. The shifty player caught 70 passes for 984 yard and ten scores. His ability to break ankles on a routine basis and his performance at the Senior Bowl were enough to convince the Giants’ front office to make Toney a priority. The slotted salary for the No. 20 pick is $13.7 million with a $7.35 million signing bonus.
As first round picks, both players will be expected to contribute in a major way as a rookie.
In 2016, Vernon Hargreaves III and Keanu Neal were both drafted in the first round.