Who is Pittsburgh Getting in Pat Freiermuth?

Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth has 'All-Pro potential' with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth in the second round, making him the third Nittany Lion picked in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Freiermuth became the fifth Penn State tight end to be drafted since 2010 and joined Mike Gesicki as a second-round pick. The 6-5, 250-pound Friermuth was the third-ranked tight end in the draft, according to NFL Draft Bible.

What kind of player is Pittsburgh getting in Freiermuth? Though he dislikes the nickname "Baby Gronk," Freiermuth certainly draws some parallels, particularly as a downfield threat.

Here is NFL Draft Bible's scouting report, along with an assessment from former NFL head coach Jim Mora.

NFL Draft Bible

"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 a killer 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."

Jim Mora

"He has the size, he has the stature and he has the length. 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. Pat is a guy who causes defensive coordinators headaches, because you have to figure out a way to cover him. If you play man coverage on him, the defensive backs aren't big enough, and linebackers and defensive ends aren't fast enough or athletic enough. These guys are rare and so valued. He's a guy who's going to create problems."

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