NFL Draft

Contextualization Of WR Michael Pittman Jr.’s Career Big Plays At USC

A few weeks ago, I did a 2019 multi-game contextualization on USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. My final assessment on that contextualization of those six games was that the tape didn’t show Pittman to be a very dynamic player overall and that there was very little “WOW” in those targets I broke down. I also posted that Pittman looked to be a very consistent player on tape, however, and especially on the left side of the offense. Coming out of that contextualization I viewed Pittman as more of a late third-round selection. With Pittman entering the final week of the pre-draft process still considered by many to be a mid to late second-round selection, I figured I should dig deeper into his tape to see what I am missing on him. I’m glad I did.

As part of my deeper dive into Pittman’s college tape, I wanted to look at the plays he did make. Yes, the highlights, and all of them. The plays I wanted to see were his explosive plays that gained 20 or more yards and all receiving touchdowns dating back to his 2016 freshman season at USC. In total, this deeper dive required me finding and watching a total of 48 plays. Included in those 48 plays are 19 touchdown receptions and 38 of them were good for 20 yards or more.

I was fortunate enough to find all 48 of these plays and contextualized all of them below in a table. As usual, the contextualized data includes down, distance, time of game, line of scrimmage, pass distance, yards after the catch, area of the field and most importantly, a link to each play for viewing.

So, what stuck out the most to me after doing this deeper dive on Pittman? For starters, he has quite a few contested catches and “wow” plays buried in his tape prior to this past 2019 season. In fact, below are two plays from Pittman’s 2017 tape that are included in the full contextualization that best exemplify the kind of contested catch and “wow” plays he’s capable of making.

While there are not a lot of them, Pittman’s pre-2019 tape also showed us he can run routes and make catches on the right side of the formation, which is something that was hard to find in his 2019 tape.

Additionally, 29 of these 48 plays include Pittman catching the football more than 15 yards down the field. That’s super encouraging to see as there were just eight such catches in the 2019 six-game contextualization that I did on him several weeks ago. While he’s still not burner in my eyes after this deeper dive into his tape, Pittman can get down the field with ease and most importantly, make catches.

So, where do I come in now on Pittman after doing this deeper dive? I now see why he’s considered a second-round talent and why there’s a good chance he might be the first player selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2020 NFL draft at No. 49 overall in the second-round.

Prior to this deeper tape dive, Pittman had already checked several needed boxes to be the Steelers second-round selection this year. He has the experience, reception totals, was a captain in college and possesses an NFL bloodline. He’s SPARKy, was at the Senior Bowl and hails from a Power 5 college as well. Oh, his character seems to be squeaky clean and he appears to have heart and smarts. I can now say his college tape warrants him being the Steelers selection as well thanks to me taking time to dig deeper into it. Make sure you click on several of these plays to see for yourself.

Michael Pittman Jr. Contextualized College Career Big Plays (TDs & Explosive)
YEAR OPP QRT TIME DWN DIST LOS YDS PDIST YAC AREA LINK
2016 ORE 4 14:11 2 34 USC 19 21 6 15 1 VIDEO
2017 ARIZ 3 1:17 2 9 USC 26 20 2 18 3 VIDEO
2017 ARIZ 4 8:18 1 20 USC 37 21 21 0 5 VIDEO
2017 COLO 1 15:00 2 10 USC 25 32 24 8 5 VIDEO
2017 COLO 2 11:59 3 5 COLO 10 10-TD 14 * 5 VIDEO
2017 STAN 1 4:38 2 7 STAN 7 7-TD 14 * 3 VIDEO
2017 STAN 2 12:53 2 13 USC 46 20 1 19 1 VIDEO
2017 STAN 2 5:02 3 6 USC 7 40 25 15 1 VIDEO
2017 STAN 4 7:12 2 9 USC 2 54 29 25 2 VIDEO
2017 OSU 2 9:36 1 10 USC 22 20 14 6 4 VIDEO
2017 OSU 2 4:36 3 13 USC 10 32 28 4 2 VIDEO
2018 UNLV 4 8:06 3 8 USC 39 36 36 0 2 VIDEO
2018 STAN 3 13:20 2 10 USC 41 45 42 3 1 VIDEO
2018 WSU 2 1:16 1 10 USC 26 22 19 3 1 VIDEO
2018 WSU 3 9:03 1 10 MID 50 50-TD 6 44 2 VIDEO
2018 COLO 2 3:33 2 13 USC 35 65-TD 44 21 4 VIDEO
2018 COLO 2 1:57 2 3 COLO 48 39 32 7 1 VIDEO
2018 COLO 2 1:10 2 9 COLO 9 9-TD 8 1 3 VIDEO
2018 UTAH 1 7:31 1 10 UTAH 34 34-TD 33 1 2 VIDEO
2018 ASU 2 3:35 1 10 USC 30 42 22 20 1 VIDEO
2018 ASU 2 0:13 2 6 ASU 6 6-TD 15 * 5 VIDEO
2018 ASU 3 10:24 1 10 ASU 36 36-TD 39 * 1 VIDEO
2018 ASU 3 4:16 1 10 USC 32 23 13 10 2 VIDEO
2018 UCLA 1 15:00 3 10 USC 49 27 12 15 1 VIDEO
2018 UCLA 3 12:21 1 10 USC 32 37 37 0 3 VIDEO
2018 ND 2 1:38 3 4 USC 21 35 32 3 1 VIDEO
2019 STAN 3 2:42 3 6 USC 34 21 6 15 2 VIDEO
2019 STAN 3 1:08 1 10 STAN 35 31 25 6 1 VIDEO
2019 BYU 1 10:39 1 8 BYU 8 8-TD 9 0 2 VIDEO
2019 BYU 4 10:45 1 10 BYU 30 30-TD 38 0 1 VIDEO
2019 UTAH 1 9:00 3 5 USC 31 26 17 9 1 VIDEO
2019 UTAH 2 11:47 2 10 USC 38 39 33 6 1 VIDEO
2019 UTAH 3 9:54 3 9 USC 23 77-TD 46 31 1 VIDEO
2019 UTAH 4 7:30 3 8 USC 33 42 32 10 2 VIDEO
2019 WASH 3 2:10 1 10 WASH 44 44-TD 38 6 1 VIDEO
2019 ARIZ 1 0:23 1 9 ARIZ 9 9-TD -2 11 2 VIDEO
2019 ARIZ 3 4:46 1 10 USC 40 54 48 6 3 VIDEO
2019 COLO 1 14:49 1 10 USC 25 27 18 9 4 VIDEO
2019 COLO 4 11:25 1 10 COLO 44 44-TD 40 4 1 VIDEO
2019 COLO 4 2:15 2 11 COLO 37 37-TD 12 25 3 VIDEO
2019 ORE 2 0:20 3 10 ORE 13 13-TD 13 * 2 VIDEO
2019 ASU 1 8:49 1 10 ASU 48 28 27 1 5 VIDEO
2019 CAL 2 0:43 3 12 CAL 33 33-TD 38 * 1 VIDEO
2019 CAL 3 9:26 1 10 USC 37 45 43 2 3 VIDEO
2019 CAL 4 13:39 2 5 CAL 47 32 21 11 2 VIDEO
2019 UCLA 2 9:39 1 1 UCLA 1 1-TD -1 2 4 VIDEO
2019 UCLA 2 2:06 3 4 UCLA 4 4-TD 4 * 2 VIDEO
2019 IOWA 4 7:15 3 12 IOWA 45 22 13 9 2 VIDEO
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