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Raiders' Opponents Ranked: TEs, No. 5

We look at ranking the top-five opposing tight ends the Las Vegas Raiders will face this season.

In making back-to-back trips to the playoffs for the first time since 2000-02, the Las Vegas Raiders will navigate the NFL's fourth-hardest rated schedule, according to Pro Football Focus.

Tight end is a position that isn't as deep as others that the Raiders will contend with this season, but still, there are multiple players to keep your eyes on. 

One of those is Pat Freiermuth of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was able to make an immediate impact as a rookie last season. 

Considering that tight end can be one of the more difficult positions to adjust to at the pro level, Freiermuth didn't do too badly for himself. 

He finished with 60 catches for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Freiermuth's reception total was third on the team behind wide receiver Diontae Johnson and running back Najee Harris, while his touchdown total was second. 

He also finished with a top-10 ranking at the position from Pro Football Focus. 

That came on the strength of maintaining consistent efficiency as a receiver throughout last season. 

Among receivers on the Steelers with 50 or more targets, Freiermuth's catch percentage of 75.9 percent ranked second on the team. 

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Freiermuth is not an explosive threat, but he already has proven that he can make a living as a reliable safety valve in Pittsburgh's offense. 

The Raiders have the luxury of already knowing what he brings because they played the Steelers in Week 2 of last season. 

Freiermuth didn't have a big game, catching four passes for 36 yards as the Raiders pulled away in the fourth quarter to win, 26-17. 

It's not a guarantee the Steelers' offense will be much improved this season, either, with Mitchell Trubisky or rookie Kenny Pickett likely be the starting quarterback. 

What it could lead to is the Steelers continuing to rely on the short passing game, which could lead to a lot of targets underneath for Freiermuth. 

The Raiders have the advantage of knowing that strategy wasn't good enough to beat them last season. 

Still, they'll have to be aware of Freiermuth and his ability to move the chains for the Steelers. 

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