2021 NFL Draft Profile: Penn State Tight End Pat Freiermuth

By Matthew Filipovits on April 28, 2021 at 9:40 am
Oct 31, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions tight end Pat Freiermuth (87) catches the ball during warm ups before a game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
© Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
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Pat Freiermuth has been one of the best tight ends in college football for three seasons. After rewriting the record books at Penn State, he's off to the NFL where he'll quickly make an impact for any tight end-needy team.

Pat Freiermuth
Pat Freiermuth
Position: Tight End
Height/Weight: 6'5/251 lbs.
Hometown: North Andover (MA)
Recruiting Ranking: ★★★★(0.9149)
Strengths At a Glance: Catch ability, Route Running, Willingness to Block
Weaknesses At a Glance:  Speed, Blocking bigger defenders

Career Summary

Pat Freiermuth was one of two four-star tight ends Penn State signed its 2018 class, but thanks to a fifth-year of high school football the prep-level, came in more college-ready than the higher-rated Zack Kuntz. Freiermuth didn't enroll early in the traditional sense, but arrived on campus in May of 2018, more than a month before the majority of his classmates.

Freiermuth Career Stats
  Games Receptions Receiving Yards Touchdowns
2018 13 26 368 8
2019 13 43 507 7
2020 4 23 310 1
TOTAL 30 92 1185 16

The Massachusetts native began his true freshman season behind a pair of upperclassmen on the depth chart but quickly proved he was the best tight end on the roster and ended up starting nine games in 2018. He wasn't targeted all that heavily, but quickly became a security blanket for Trace McSorley, especially in the red zone, and led the conference in touchdowns by a tight end. He earned Freshman All-American honors and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention for his efforts.

He came into the 2019 season as one of the most hyped tight ends in the country and commanded a lot of attention from opposing defenses. Still, he always found a way to get open and quickly became a favorite target of Sean Clifford, finishing second on the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns behind current Denver Bronco KJ Hamler. Freiermuth originally opted out of the 2020 season, but once the Big Ten reversed course and revived their fall season, the tight end opted to run it back. He played just four games due to injury, but still won the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year award and earned All-Big Ten honors. He finished his Penn State career with 16 touchdowns, the most by a tight end in program history.

Strengths

Strong enough to run through poor tackle attempts...Good hands and history of making plays in big moments...Willing to block and able to sell block fakes...Athletic enough to make guys miss in space...Too fast for some linebackers and too strong for slot corners

Weaknesses

Doesn't have the straight-line speed some other tight end prospects have...While willing to block, but can be bullied by some bigger linebackers...Catches with his body more than you'd like...Coming off injury and didn't fully participate in Pro Day drills

Summary

Pat Freiermuth's injury-plagued 2020 season likely pushed him out of the first round, which means some team is going to get a steal. Freiermuth does everything right and has an NFL-ready body. Any team who drafts him has a player who can slide in and make their offense better from the second he walks in the building. Freiermuth can make highlight-reel catches, but it's his consistency that will keep him in the league for a long time. He's going to become a favorite target of some lucky quarterback and join Mike Gesicki as elite Nittany Lion tight ends in the NFL.

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