The Atlanta Falcons recently selected Florida tight end Kyle Pitts in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Prior to the selection, Pitts reached out to former Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to ask for his blessing to wear jersey number seven.
Vick, who spent six seasons with the Falcons from 2001-2006, was honored by the request and gave Pitts the green light to wear his old number.
In a statement to ESPN, Vick said, “When Kyle Pitts reached out to me, he said that he wanted to wear No. 7 and that he looked up to me and my career in Atlanta. He also asked me if it was ok.”
“I appreciate that respect for the game and the guys who have worn the number before him, and I told him he could wear it and wear it well.”
Pitts, who was regarded by many as the top non-quarterback prospect in the draft, will likely have a significant impact on the Falcons’ offense in the upcoming season. During his time at Florida, he amassed 100 catches for 1,492 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The decision to wear number seven may also prove to be significant for Pitts. In addition to being the number worn by Vick during his time in Atlanta, it is also the number worn by all-time great quarterbacks like John Elway and Ben Roethlisberger.
Vick’s endorsement of Pitts’ decision to wear his old number carries particular weight due to his unique place in Falcons history. In addition to his on-field production, Vick’s personality and playing style captured the imaginations of Falcons fans in a way that few other players have.
For Pitts, wearing number seven may be seen as a way to pay homage to the player who helped popularize the Falcons in the early 2000s.
Only time will tell how Pitts will perform in Atlanta, but if he lives up to his potential, he may end up carving out his own unique place in Falcons history. And with the blessing of Michael Vick, he’ll be doing it in the iconic jersey number that has become synonymous with greatness in the NFL.