NFL Draft: Why Penn State Football’s Pat Freiermuth might fall to Round 2

Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Pat Freiermuth (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Pat Freiermuth (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /

Penn State Football’s Pat Freiermuth can make a strong case for being the No. 2 tight end prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft, behind Florida’s Kyle Pitts, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be chosen in the first-round.

There is a decent chance that a tight end needy team towards the end of the first-round, the Pittsburgh Steelers perhaps, could jump at the chance to add Freiermuth to their offensive arsenal. But, several mock draft projections list him as an early second-round pick.

Freiermuth’s big-play ability is evident, and the scarcity of high-end tight end talent in this draft could also boost his stock. Multiple evaluators believe among tight ends, this class has Pitts and “everyone else.”

Pro Football Focus believes that Freiermuth’s agility might be his biggest weakness, and the biggest reason he could slip out of Round 1:

"Biggest con: AgilityFreiermuth isn’t the most nimble tight end out there and would be much better suited to NFL play 10 years ago than he will be in 2021. And while he has reportedly posted a sub-4.2 short shuttle in the past — which would be impressive for his size — we haven’t quite seen that on the field.The Penn State alum is an old-school tight end who wins with physicality, and that’s fine. He’s still the clear-cut second-best tight end in the class and is worth taking in Round 2."

Feiermuth had a prolific three seasons in Happy Valley, as a focal point of the Nittany Lions‘ passing attack. He caught 92 passes for 1,185 yards and 16 touchdowns, while averaging 12.9 yards per reception.

Not running during Penn State’s Pro Day, while still recovering from a shoulder injury, might have hurt Freiermuth’s stock. But, his tape shows an elite prospect that could provide significant upside to a vertical offense, whether it’s in Round 1 or Round 2.

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