One of the biggest debates of this 2021 NFL Draft season is whether or not the Dallas Cowboys should be considering Florida Tight End Kyle Pitts with their 1st-round pick. Opponents of this idea site Blake Jarwin as a key reason why Dallas doesn't need the elite TE prospect. But what exactly is this faith in Jarwin based on?
After finally claiming the starting job in 2020, Jarwin's season didn't last a full game. He suffered a major ACL injury in Week One against the Los Angeles Rams and was out the rest of the year following surgery.
Before this, Jarwin was stuck behind Jason Witten's farewell parade float in 2019. During Witten's temporary retirement in 2018, Blake had to fight his way into the conversation against veteran Geoff Swaim and 4th-round rookie Dalton Schultz.
When Swaim got injured in Week 11, Jarwin started to emerge as the superior prospect to Schultz. In the Week 17 finale against the New York Giants, Blake exploded for three touchdowns and 119 yards to earn NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Now it's 2021 and Jarwin is still cashing checks off that one exceptional performance. Despite a quiet 2019 (365 yards and 3 TDs) and a lost season in 2020, many still have high confidence in Blake's ability to be an explosive weapon as a starter in the Cowboys' offense.
This projection may be entirely accurate. Jarwin is big, athletic, and has flashed his receiving skills at various points. But between going undrafted in 2017 and turning 27 this July, Blake's only ever given us flashes and that one big day in New York to put our faith in.
That's why others in Cowboys Nation are baffled at the opinion that taking Kyle Pitts would be foolish. We're not talking about adding Pitts to an established stud like Travis Kelce or Darren Waller, or making him play second fiddle to an aging legend.
Blake Jarwin is six years older than Kyle Pitts and has yet to deliver on whatever potential you've seen in him. And I promise you, no matter how high you think Jarwin's ceiling is, any objective observer will admit that Pitts' is considerably higher.
If your argument against drafting Pitts is that Dallas' has bigger needs elsewhere on the roster then that's perfectly fair. If your argument's that Jarwin and Dalton Schultz provide good insurance and solidity at tight for 2021 then that case can also be made.
But don't tell me that Blake Jarwin, coming off ACL surgery and having never done it, has earned some unchallengeable right to the Cowboys' starting TE job. I wish him all the best and hope he does blow up in 2021, but he's hardly done enough to make you pass on one of the best prospects to come along in decades.