Michael Pittman Jr. Draft Prediction – When Will the USC Star Be Selected?
You know the 2020 NFL Draft wide receiver class is loaded when nobody is talking about Michael Pittman Jr. The USC star receiver registered 101 receptions for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, yet he is unlikely to get a sniff in round one.
It isn’t for a lack of production, clearly. It’s not because he came out of nowhere, either. The guy also checks the boxes when it comes to elite size, ball skills, catch radius, and contested catch ability.
To top it off, Pittman even has solid speed and nice overall athleticism, rendering him one of the most overlooked prospects in this entire draft.
Needless to say, he could end up being a steal and filling a big need for the right team in round two or later. Here’s a look at some teams that could really use his skills, along with my ultimate Michael Pittman Jr. draft projection for who selects him.
Green Bay Packers – Pick 30
The team that could reach for Pittman Jr. in round one would be Green Bay. This would become even likelier if there is a crazy wide receiver run and guys like Justin Jefferson and Denzel Mims are gone.
Suddenly, Pittman would be one of the best receiver prospects when it comes to size, athleticism, and ball skills.
Aaron Rodgers needs speed around him, but what he also could use is a big target who can win contested passes. Pittman brings that to the table and so much more.
Cleveland Browns – Pick 41
The Browns need to be in the conversation for adding a wide receiver. That’s even more so the case if the Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors are at all true, but even if they stand pat, adding another pass-catcher is necessary.
Cleveland has nothing behind their top two wide receivers, while Landry is best suited to man the slot. Even Beckham isn’t particularly big, so adding an elite red-zone option like Pittman could make sense.
Cincinnati Bengals – Pick 65
Cincinnati seems intent on hanging onto the aging and often injured A.J. Green. That said, he is going to be 32 when the 2020 NFL season begins, so it’s not like he’ll be around forever.
John Ross has also been an arguable bust, so the Bengals should think about adding talent in general, while looking to replace Green down the road.
Pittman could be an ideal Green replacement, as he offers a very similar skillset and can take his time learning from one of the league’s best receivers.
New York Jets – Pick 68
Let’s also touch on the Jets, who do not have a great list of weapons for Sam Darnold to go to war with. The team allowed Robby Anderson to exit in free agency, and all they brought in was Breshad Perriman.
Darnold needs more help, and in Pittman, he’d get a big target that can add to his aggressive nature. He’s a familiar presence, too, since the two played together at USC.
Who Will Take Michael Pittman Jr. in the Draft?
Pittman is a very good prospect. The only reason he isn’t being talked about more is this wide receiver class is insanely loaded.
There are a lot of teams that need a receiver, and plenty would love to have Pittman’s skillset. I think if the Packers don’t snag him, he could still slide a bit, and a perfect landing spot may be Cincy.
That was the route I took in my day two NFL mock draft, where I had the Bengals snagging him to get Joe Burrow an elite weapon. Pittman gives them help on the outside and in the red zone, and a guy who can move the chains as a possession receiver.