The NFL draft is fast approaching and today I’ll be going over one of the more underrated prospects in this years draft. The wide receiver position is a need for many teams and Danny Kittner could be a sneaky late round pick. Danny Kittner stands at 5’10”, 187 pounds, playing his college ball for the University of Mary Marauders. Here’s why teams should keep their eyes on Danny Kittner.
Kittner played high school ball for Higley High School in Gilbert, Arizona where he earned All-Region and All-Academic honors. His play earned him a spot at Wide Receiver for the University of Mary in 2018. As a true freshman he had 257 yards and 3 touchdowns while playing in every Marauders game that season. He also had 230 return yards.
His sophomore season saw his numbers continue to improve. Kittner finished the year with 685 yards and 3 touchdowns while playing in all 11 games for the second straight year. He averaged 145 all purpose yards each week and was honored as the teams offensive MVP 3 times during the season. The former Higley Knight would also manage 846 return yards along with a punt return touchdown.
His junior season was delayed due to COVID-19 but it would ultimately end up being the most electric season of his college career once it kicked off in 2021. Kittner was absolutely phenomenal with 128 catches, 1723 receiving yards, and 18 touchdowns. He had over 125 yards receiving in 8 of the teams 11 games and had 3 games with over 200 yards receiving. Kittner’s best game came against Bemidji State where he had 284 receiving yards and 4 receiving touchdowns. He also had 32 passing yards to go alongside an incredible season long performance by the Marauders star receiver. He finished the season with 526 return yards as well.
Kittner’s senior year wasn’t as statistically dominate as the season prior, but he was still the Marauders leading receiver with 986 yards and 5 touchdowns. The senior receiver would post 4 games with over 100 receiving yards. He also achieved his only kickoff return touchdown of his college career in the team’s eighth game against MSU Moorhead. Kittner would finish his senior year as the U-Mary all time leader in receiving yards and catches, etching his name into the Marauders history books. He now turns his attention to this year’s draft.
Pros about Kittner’s game
Kittner is an electric receiver with the ball in his hands. He attended North Dakota State University’s pro day and posted a 4.08 shuttle time. Had that time of been ran at the NFL Combine, Kittner would find himself second among other receivers. His shuttle time shows his elite ability to bounce between defenders. As a runner, he finds small gaps between defenders to help gain a few extra yards.
Despite his small size, Kittner is an impressive route runner who does a good job finding holes in coverages when running routes. The same can be said when a play breaks down in the backfield. Kittner finds open space and often comes up with the ball in a busted play situation. If you’re quarterback has to scramble more often than not, Danny Kittner could easily be your guy.
Lastly, Kittner is really good with his hands when catching in traffic. He can often hold onto the ball despite taking hits from multiple directions. His abilities give teams a few different ways to utilize his strengths in their offense.
Cons about Kittner’s game
One of the biggest cons to Kittners game is his size as he is just 5’10” and 187 pounds. His small size makes it difficult for him to make things work as a receiver outside the numbers. Also, while Kittner can move through defenders swiftly, he won’t always outrun them. His 4.66 40 yard dash at NDSU’s pro day would have been towards the bottom at this years combine.
His skillset makes it so he’s successful under the right circumstances. If the wrong team were to draft him, he may struggle to find his footing in the NFL. With good coaching, Kittner can be a solid NFL Wide Receiver.
Kittner most closely compares to former wide receiver Wes Welker. Their 40 yard dash, shuttle, and 3-cone times were all within just a couple milliseconds of one another. Like Kittner, Welker knew how to find gaps between coverages and make the most of his opportunities with the football. Welker had great catch rate numbers throughout his career and was a good returner as well. Wes Welker had a very good NFL career and Danny Kittner will have a chance to do the same.
Ideal Team Fits
The first ideal fit is a team Kittner knows well and a team he already had a workout with, the Arizona Cardinals. He fits their scheme perfectly and the Cardinals love their local players. Kittner played his high school ball in Arizona, so the fit seems natural. Other teams he would be a good fit for are the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and New York Jets.
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