Prospect Profile: TE Pat Freiermuth
Jake Pittman - 3/31/2021
Prospect Profile: TE Pat Freiermuth
Pat Freiermuth is a 6’5" 258-pound TE from Penn State University. Pat has been a very productive player for Penn State over the course of his career, and he has shown time and time again why scouts should be paying attention to him as a prospect. He ranks as almost all draft analysts No. 2 TE behind Florida TE Kyle Pitts, and he is projected to be taken on day 2 of the draft, but he could find a way to sneak into the first round.
Pat Freiermuth is huge. He is an obvious mismatch for against any defender that lines up against him. NFL Teams have shown that they love these big mismatch tight ends, especially when they can line up all over the field. Freiermuth has proven that he can line up as an inline tight end or play out of the slot. He has good hands, and he knows how to use his size to win on jump balls and goal line fades. He is also a very powerful player. He has proven his ability to truck smaller defenders on numerous occasions. He is not afraid of contact, and he has a good awareness of his own strengths. He has good speed for his size, but he is not an athletic freak from that standpoint. His ability to dominate against physical defenders in a conference like the Big 10 is also a great indicator of his ability to translate his game to the speed and physicality of the NFL. He has good ball skills and he runs routes very smoothly for a man of his size.
From a prospect standpoint, he does have a couple of weaknesses. He is an average player after the catch. He has very suspect balance, and he will often times lose his footing when no defenders are around him. He also leaves much to be desired as a run blocker. He rarely generates much movement, but he doesn’t take plays off, and he consistently works even when he’s not on the play side. He lacks an elite level of explosiveness; which teams are often looking for in highly drafted tight end prospects. He does, however, make up for this lack of pure explosiveness with consistent production and reliable play-making.
I have seen a lot of analysts giving him the overused "Baby Gronk" comparison, but his lack of explosiveness and pure athleticism makes me very skeptical of such high praise. However, I do see where they are coming from. He plays in a very similar style, and he can be a very reliable receiving weapon at the next level, but I can’t imagine him ever becoming the type of player that Rob Gronkowski was with the New England Patriots. But their similarities are hard to ignore, that’s why my comparison for Freiermuth is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers version of Rob Gronkowski. Gronk no longer makes the same types of unbelievable plays that he used to before his retirement, but he proved during the Buccaneer’s Super Bowl run that he can still be a matchup nightmare and a consistent producer for an NFL Team. Older Gronk can still run over smaller defenders, but like Freiermuth, he isn’t going to make guys miss consistently. From a career perspective I could see Freiermuth’s career shaping up a lot like New York Giant’s TE Kyle Rudolph. He is a consistent weapon in the redzone and can be a reliable weapon to get tough first downs. Like Rudolph, I think Freiermuth will be a consistent and reliable producer in the NFL, but he doesn’t project to be a Pro Bowl caliber player year in and year out.
Most Likely Landing Spots:
The Titans lost what looked like the future of the position in TE Jonnu Smith during free agency, and are in need of receiving weapons outside of Pro-Bowler AJ Brown after the loss of Smith and former first-round WR Corey Davis. Freiermuth could be a big help for them in this department. He would provide reliable option for QB Ryan Tannehill and allow Brown to have more space to operate in the redzone. If Freiermuth were to land in Tennessee I think he would be a potential option for fantasy managers late in drafts. Smith put up really solid production for fantasy players last season, because of the efficiency of Tannehill and the attention that RB Derrick Henry demands from defenses. Freiermuth could find similar success if he were to land in this system.
The Panthers haven’t had a consistent producer at the TE position since the departure of TE Greg Olsen. They could be looking to fill this gap with a player like Freiermuth. His size and mismatches he presents could be very helpful to any young QB that projects to take the reins for this offense. For fantasy purposes, I wouldn’t project him to be much of a fantasy relevant producer if he were to land in Carolina. With a young QB and the number of targets that Christian McCaffery, DJ Moore and Robby Anderson demand, there just wouldn’t be enough targets to go around.
New York Jets:
I find myself putting the Jets for a lot of these skill players potential landing spots, but that is just because they have so many needs. Whether it’s QB Sam Darnold or any rookie QB stepping into this starting job, the Jet’s starting QB is going to need a lot of help from their receiving weapons. Freiermuth can provide a solid and safe option for any young QB with his size, ball skills and jump ball ability. If Freiermuth were to land with the Jets, I think he would be a very interesting option in dynasty leagues, but during his first year it would be hard to imagine him making any push towards fantasy relevance in this struggling offense.
Pat Freiermuth is a big mismatch TE who can make a real difference in the redzone or against smaller defenders. He is smooth player who has the ability to be a consistent and reliable player in the NFL. He is my No. 2 ranked TE and I project him to be drafted in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL draft. If he were to land in favorable destination, I think he could be a streaming option at the TE position in his rookie year. He projects to be a solid starting TE for years to come, but his lack of athleticism and explosiveness puts a hamper on his long-term upside.
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