When teams aren't busy selecting quarterbacks in the top 10 picks of next month's draft, one of them will certainly select Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. He's arguably the most compelling prospect at the position in years, and there's a pretty good track record for tight ends taken that early.

It doesn't happen often. In the last 30 years, in fact, only six tight ends have been selected with top 10 picks. But Pitts will almost certainly be the seventh, and while those players don't always turn out to be mega stars, most of them have gone on to have pretty good careers, both in the NFL and in fantasy.

That's not to say all of them have lived up to expectations. Given a choice to rewind to 1995, the Jets certainly wouldn't select Kyle Brady ahead of Warren Sapp. But even Brady went on to have a couple of top-10 fantasy seasons in his career. In Jacksonville rather than with the Jets, of course, but still.

Collectively, those six tight ends drafted in the top 10 since 1990 have had 15 top-10 fantasy finishes, and three other seasons where they finished in the top 12. That includes T.J. Hockenson ranking 3rd at the position (PPR) last year, and looking like he has the potential to crank out several more of those seasons. There are no sure things in the NFL Draft, but once Pitts is selected that early, odds are pretty good he'll be a fantasy starter for years to come.

As a starter the last two seasons for Florida, Pitts caught 97 passes for 1,419 yards and 17 touchdowns. Check out his highlights and you'll see him routinely skying above multiple defenders to haul in jump balls, running away from guys after the catch. He's great, and he should be an early selection in upcoming rookie drafts no matter what team he ends up on.

In saying this, I'm not promising a big 2021 impact. None of those previous six selection went for even 400 yards or 5 TDs in their first seasons. But injuries were a factor in a couple of those lesser rookie seasons. And four of the six had their first top-10 finish by the end of their second seasons.

The top fantasy seasons by those six previous tight ends, in descending order by year, are shown below.

YearPlayerTgtNoYdsTDFF Rk
2020T.J. Hockenson, Det.1016772363
2018Eric Ebron, Ind.11066750134
2013Vernon Davis, S.F.8452850134
2011Kellen Winslow, T.B.12375763212
2011Vernon Davis, S.F.956779268
2010Kellen Winslow, T.B.986673057
2010Vernon Davis, S.F.935691472
2009Kellen Winslow, T.B.1277788457
2009Vernon Davis, S.F.12878965132
2007Kellen Winslow, Cle.14882110654
2007Vernon Davis, S.F.8552509412
2006Kellen Winslow, Cle.1208987533
2002Kyle Brady, Jac.674346148
2000Kyle Brady, Jac.946472936
1999Rickey Dudley, Oak.593955594
1998Rickey Dudley, Oak.773654959
1997Rickey Dudley, Oak.914878773
1996Rickey Dudley, Oak.7034386412

I notice that Brady isn’t the only one of these players who had his best years with a different team than the one that drafted him. Eric Ebron had his best year with the Colts, not the Lions. Kellen Winslow Jr. was better in Tampa Bay than with the Browns. But whatever. All of these guys had some NFL success.

--Andy Richardson