I wouldn’t be against the idea of taking Kyle Pitts with the fourth pick, but if the Falcons don’t, Terry Fontenot should be looking to add a tight end later in the draft. Arthur Smith is outspoken about his love of multiple tight end sets, and with Hayden Hurst the only rostered player at the position, Fontenot will likely add at least two through the draft or free agency. With a long history of developing talent at tight end, Arthur Smith might prefer to use the first-round pick on a position he’s less confident in developing. Here’s my breakdown of a few that will be available in the later rounds.
Freiermuth reminds me a lot of George Kittle in terms of after-the-catch ability. His most distinctive positive trait is his physicality as a runner, vicious with the ball in his hands, and he really punishes defensive backs downfield. He might not be as fast at Kittle, but Frieermuth is a more punishing runner with a strong build to flat-out run over defenders and features a powerful stiff arm.
Penn State's Pat Freiermuth is a bully, probably best to just get out of his way.pic.twitter.com/q8KdQYcwNa
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) June 4, 2020
He’s over 250-pounds and most of his separation on routes comes from pure physicality. Over the past two seasons, Freiermuth broke 12 tackles on 66 receptions. Similar to how Travis Kelce snaps his routes off so violently at the top, the Penn State product isn’t a vertical threat but always seems to be open.
Travis Kelce broke TE receiving records running 4.65 & not vertically threatening anyone
Aside from the manufacture touches, Kelce won at the ‘Top of Route’ with Snap, Strength, Suddenness & catching everything!
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) March 2, 2021
His size makes him an ideal project for Arthur Smith to develop into a well-rounded tight end. Freiermuth needs to work on run-blocking, but he is a willing blocker, so it’s not like he’s Jimmy Graham or anything.
If Freiermuth is a typical Y-tight end, then Brevin Jordan is a move tight end — only 107 of his 458 snaps this past season came inline. He’s a smooth route-runner with the quickness and athleticism to separate throughout the secondary, thanks to his burst out of his breaks. Jordan is a serviceable run-blocker, which makes me think Fontenot and Arthur Smith could land on the former Miami Hurricane. Some might point to his run-blocking as a major weakness, but Ben Fennell is someone I rely on quite a bit when comparing my analysis; he says Jordan is a MUCH better blocking prospect than everyone thinks. If he turns into a two-way tight end, Fontenot and Smith could regret not taking Jordan on day two of the draft.
TE Brevin Jordan was asked to block DEs throughout his career at Miami – he is MUCH better blocking prospect than we think
Whether 1-on-1 pass pro, sealing DE in run game, or whamming a NT – Jordan is willing & capable!
He is best ‘all-around’ TE in this 2021 NFL Draft class pic.twitter.com/QulYjZ0s9Y
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 13, 2021
Tommy Tremble is an absolute bull when blocking, the closest thing to Mercedes Lewis I have seen coming out of college. Whether that’s at full back, H-back, inline, or from the slot, Tremble wants to locate and destroy.
Tommy Tremble is a vicious run blocker pic.twitter.com/JF31aiCQet
— Jac Collinsworth (@JacCollinsworth) September 16, 2020
Tremble is a better receiver than people give him credit for; don’t look at just the production. With reliable hands and more than enough speed to get by on seams, crossers, flats, and wheels, the former Notre Dame tight end could be a perfect scheme fit for Arthur Smith’s play-action heavy offense.
Hunter Long does a little bit of everything, but he’s not exceptional at anything. Long doesn’t have the breakaway vertical speed or YAC abilities, but he’s as sure-handed as any in this class. The Boston College product has a fantastic frame, a vast catch radius, and uses his build to wall off defenders with skilled body control. Winning contested catches is something he must refine because he isn’t explosive enough to generate separation. His run-blocking could use addressing, but his skill set is ideal for developing into a starting-caliber Y tight end.
Hunter Long beating Isaiah Simmons vertically down the seam… Long is such an underrated player this class pic.twitter.com/LIUbWYzqmd
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 17, 2021
Photo: Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire