Pat Freiermuth doesn't like the nickname "Baby Gronk," though it might follow him into the NFL.
The former Penn State tight end is a "perfect fit" for the league, NFL analyst Jim Mora said, comparing him to the standout offensive-mismatch players at the position. Such as Tampa Bay's Rob Gronkowski.
"He’s what the NFL is looking for right now in a tight end, and that's a mismatch down the field on defensive players," Mora said in a recent interview. "He's a guy that causes defensive coordinators headaches."
Freiermuth is the No. 3 tight end in the 2021 NFL Draft, according to NFL Draft Bible, and the 74th-ranked player overall. NFL Draft Bible projects Freiermuth as a second-round pick.
Freiermuth has some convincing to do, as NFL teams evaluate the shoulder injury that caused him to miss the second half of the 2020 season. At Penn State's Pro Day, Freiermuth said he was ahead of schedule in his rehab and felt confident he would be ready for training camp.
Mora said that, even for teams that wanted to see more film of Freiermuth in 2020, the tight end's skills show he's NFL ready. Check out the video above for more.
NFL Draft Bible's evaluation said Freiermuth has "All-Pro potential" as long as he keeps progressing. Here's their full breakdown of Freiermuth.
"Despite all the hype surrounding 'Baby Gronk,' the most exciting part of his evaluation is that there is great room for improvement. His long, lean, frame has yet to fill out, as Freiermuth owns great height and athleticism, to go along with excellent quickness. When he tucks the ball and lowers his shoulders, Freiermuth has shown the propensity to run defenders over with a full-steam-ahead running style after the catch; he has flashed a devastating stiff arm, too.
"His size also makes him a significant red-zone target. That being said, while he’s an adequate blocker, Freiermuth isn’t akiller seeking out contact at the second level; he has bypassed some opportunities to make his presence more known.
"His route-running has improved but remains a bit rough around the edges. He has been timed at 4.72 in the 40, with a4.17 short-shuttle time, has a max squat of 575 pounds and 354-pound power clean. The Massachusetts native was used in an array of ways during his time in Happy Valley, often lining up in the H-back position.
"Stories about his intense matchups during practice with all-star linebacker Micah Parsons have become folklore. Now, he needs to start filling out his frame and getting stronger in order to reach elite level. If Freiermuth reaches his full potential, he owns All-Pro potential at the NFL level."