In his first season with Utah in 2015, former Ute defensive end Kylie Fitts showed the program just what he can bring to the field when healthy.
Now, Fitts will have that chance to impress at the pro level, as he was taken by the Chicago Bears in the sixth round (181st overall pick) in the 2018 NFL draft.
Fitts played one fewer game (12) over the past two years than he played in 2015, as he’s been plagued by injuries that shortened his opportunities to make an impression. Even with this, Fitts finished his three years at Utah — after transferring from UCLA — with 68 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks, to go along with 11 pass deflections and five forced fumbles.
His best season at Utah was in 2015 when a healthy Fitts played every game and had 41 tackles, eight tackles for loss, seven sacks, 10 pass deflections and four forced fumbles.
“Though injury prone the past two seasons, Fitts is a passionate, physical player who could ‘surprise’ in the NFL,” NFL Draft Scout assessed the 6-foot-4, 263-pounder.
Fitts is the third Utah edge rusher to be drafted since 2015. Nate Orchard was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2015 draft, while Pita Taumoepenu was taken by the San Francisco 49ers in last year’s sixth round.
NFL combine: Fitts had an impressive NFL combine, recording 31 reps in the bench press, tops among edge rushers. He also tied for first in his position group in the three-cone drill (6.88 seconds) and 20-yard shuttle (4.19 seconds) while running a 4.69 in the 40.
Scouting Fitts: “Fitts simply hasn’t been able to stay at full strength over the last two seasons and it takes heavy digging to find good tape against quality competition because of it. He has the talent and traits to play at a higher level than his current grade, but he’ll have to prove he can stay healthy.” — NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein