Pat Freiermuth Draft Profile
In the NFL, role players can be just as important as star players. The Buccaneers don’t win the super bowl last year if it wasn’t for Tom Brady and Devin White; however, they also don’t win if it wasn’t for Cameron Brate and Ronald Jones. Pat Freiermuth, the tight end from Penn State, will be a very important role player in the NFL. He is going to be a blocking tight end in the NFL who has a limited route tree. At Penn State, it seemed like Freiermuth only ran flat routes and the occasional seam and slant. While Freiermuth might not be the next George Kittle and Travis Kelce, he could be the next Kyle Rudolph or Brent Celek who have played in the NFL for 10+ years.
Not all tight ends need to be athletic freaks, and Freiermuth is one of those guys who is an old school tight end. He is similar to an offensive lineman that can catch. He is a physical, end of the line blocker that can be used on motions and as a puller. He has low pad level and does a great job at getting to the second level. He isn’t very productive as a receiver, however he is a natural hands catcher and is tough. He is willing to catch a seam ball knowing that he is going to get hit. I think every team needs at least one blocking tight end that is selfless and willing to get dirty.
As I mentioned earlier, Freiermuth isn’t one of those freakish, George Kittle type athletes. If you aren’t getting a complete, well rounded tight end I don’t think it’s worth pulling the trigger on a guy with Freiermuth’s ability on day two. It seemed like he only ran three routes in college and he lacks wiggle. All the best receiving tight ends have that wiggle, the ability to make a guy miss; Freiermuth doesn’t have that. He doesn’t gain very much separation unless he’s schemed open and he is slow after the catch. In the NFL, Freiermuth may be looked at as a one trick pony who can only be used as a blocker.
Now that we do have guys like Evan Engram and Kyle Pitts, it will be hard for Freiermuth to find a starting job with lesser athleticism. In the NFL, I see Freiermuth being a third string tight end. He will be used primarily as a blocker and I can see him being a match with Minnesota to replace Kyle Rudolph. The Jets need a blocking tight end, we know how important that is to a Kyle Shanahan offense. The Steelers could also use one as a contrast to Eric Ebron. Freiermuth reminds me a lot of former Eagles tight end, Brent Celek, but I think he is going to get over-drafted.
Hands + Ball Skills 5/8
Route Running 4/8
Yards After Catch 4/7
Playmaking Ability 2.5/5
Blocking Effort 5/5
Final Rating: 67
Pro Comparison: Brent Celek
Team Fits: Jets, Steelers, Vikings
Draft Ranking: Fifth Round Grade
Draft Projection: Second Round Pick