Teams looking for a tight end that can do a little bit of everything and do it well in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft need to do their homework on Pat Freiermuth. The Penn State product has the ability to line up all over the field. He's not afraid of contact and should be willing to do whatever it takes to get on the field, including block. He may not measure up to Kyle Pitts, but Freiermuth would be a very nice consolation prize for any team looking for a talented tight end that can contribute sooner rather than later.
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Pat Freiermuth Draft Profile
College: Penn State
A big, nimble tight end who can move around the formation, Freiermuth brings more than just a super-sized receiver skill set. He can hold his own in-line due to good size and high effort, but his biggest asset is the ability to align anywhere in the formation. Penn State often used him as a big slot receiver, where he shows the fluid athleticism and route-running instincts to separate against linebackers and effectively walls off defensive backs underneath. He shows soft hands and a good feel for tracking the ball when working further downfield, and he’ll battle at the catch point and pull the ball in through traffic. He’s a violent, high-effort runner with the ball in his hands and can break tackles.
Freiermuth falls into “good-not-great” in a lot of categories. He doesn’t have the kind of top-end speed to simply run away from defenders up the seam, and while he’s aggressive with the ball in his hands, he too often struggles to transition upfield as a runner, stumbling after the catch and going down before he can regain full balance. As a blocker, he can struggle to hold up at the point of attack when lined up as a traditional Y — that will be more of an issue in the NFL. While he’s early-entry, he spent a year in prep school and turns 23 this season; he might not have a lot of physical development left.
Freiermuth might not live up to the “Baby Gronk” billing (who could?), as he’s not quite the athlete nor does he bring the pure bully strength of Rob Gronkowski. But he is a chess piece in the receiving game and has the temperament you want as a blocker. He has a shot to become a top-five tight end, but he should at least be a quality starter.
Final Grade: 1st/2nd round