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Are the Bengals even interested in Kyle Pitts?

A recent report about the Bengals and Pitts conflicts with the latest mock draft from Bengals.com.

South Carolina vs Florida Photo by Evan Lapek/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Lost in the great debate between Penei Sewell and Ja’Marr Chase is Florida pass-catcher Kyle Pitts.

The 20-year old Pitts didn’t suddenly disappear off the face of the earth, yet there is a palpable feeling that he is out of the running for Bengals’ fifth-overall pick. Rumors of him being a favorite to go fourth-overall to the Atlanta Falcons might have something to do with it, but there’s probably more to it than that.

Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com participated in a 32-team mock draft ran by writers of each franchise. Hobson slotted the Bengals with Pitts after he agreed to trade down with the Carolina Panthers from the fifth pick to the eighth pick. Here is Hobson’s rationale:

Hey, there’s the off chance Sewell or Chase could have slipped through. OK. OK. We remember. Last week we said Pitts scared us because rarely do tight ends drafted this high justify the value of the pick. Plus, this doesn’t really address the neediest of the needs. But now because of the trade we’ve got another high second-round pick and Lord knows what else if this is a real deal. And taking Pitts behind Chase or Sewell instead of in front of them doesn’t seem as risky. If they’re using him as basically a third receiver, then he does meet a need. And, if Pitts is half as good as they say he is, he and Joe Burrow should be able to make beautiful music together if he can’t jam with Chase. Not only that, Pitts is the best player on the board at this point as well as the last remaining elite prospect.

With Sewell, Chase, and Pitts all on the board at pick No. 5, the Bengals trading down and still getting one of the three would be an objective success. But there is the question of if the Bengals even want Pitts in the first place?

Bengals insider Malik Wright of the Wright Way Sports Network shared on Cincy Jungle’s Civil War show that the Bengals will not draft Kyle Pitts with the fifth pick.

Wright has been absolutely money predicting what the Bengals will do this offseason, so if he’s hearing that the Bengals “would trade back and draft a defensive player before they drafted Kyle Pitts,” it’s safe to take that to the bank. Perhaps a trade back would be the only way Pitts becomes a Bengal, like in the scenario Hobson created.

Pitts, nevertheless, is clearly a talented prospect with a ton of upside. He’d make a great addition to the Bengals’ offense, but he doesn’t seem to be in the discussion with Chase and Sewell.