Tight Ends

 

The 2020 TE draft class was very underwhelming in terms of legitimate studs . While twelve did get drafted in total, there were no first-rounders and only three in the top 100 selections. There was level depth across rounds 3 and 4, however.

 

The 2021 draft class has more star quality at the top, and we'll assuredly will see at least one 1st-Rounder (Pitts), and more than three get selected by the end of Day 1 and 2. 

1) Kyle Pitts | 6'5 | 240 | TE | Florida -

9/26 - Ole Miss - There wasn't a single TE that looked anywhere near as good as Pitts did this week. He torched Ole Miss with 8 catches for 170 yards, and 4 TDs. He showed off good speed and excellent hands. Even when doubled, he was the alpha male who came down with the ball. He was a match up nightmare, couldn't be contained.

10/3 - South Carolina - Pitts had another banner day, going 4/57 with 2 TDs. On one play, he drew Jaycee Horn and was still able to win the contested catch from the accomplished CB. Pitts showed good speed and the overall ability to beat coverage with good routes and savvy zone awareness. 

10/31 - Missouri - Another game and evidence as to why Pitts is TE1. He caught 5 balls for 81 yards, showed his ability to line up anywhere against anyone and be productive. He effectively operated like a jacked up, mismatch option for Trask. 

11/7 - Georgia - Pitts had to leave the game early after receiving a cheap shot. But with just his 2 catches, he looked like a top-20 player. His ability to line up as an outside "X" and beat 4.4 CBs is impressive.

Pitts excels in the receiving game, having caught 54 balls for 649 yards worth 5 TDs in 2019. He's not asked to block all that much, is often used as an extra receiver. He's a match up problem, as LBs are suspect against his speed, DBs rendered too short to account for his length.

2) Pat Freiermuth | 6'5 | 256 | TE | Penn State -

10/24 - Indiana - Aside from a drop, Freiermuth had a good game. He was an adept route runner who obviously knew how to exploit areas of the defense. He showed good functional speed, was a primary target throughout the game. He finished with a team-high 7 receptions for 60 yards.

10/31 - Ohio State - Freiermuth had a decent game. He caught 3 balls for 46 yards, showed the ability to pull away from LB coverage. While blocking isn't his game, he underwhelmed doing so. 

11/14 - Nebraska - While the offense often sputtered, Freiermuth looked very good. He got open often and showed good run after the catch ability. he had 7 receptions for 113 yards.

 

Freiermuth has great size and is probably the most complete TE prospect going into the 2020 season. In 2019, he posted 43 catches for 507 yards, good for 7 TDs. He's athletic enough to pull off a decent wheel route after a quick DE chip, while being able to function as an extra on-the-line blocker. He's a nuanced route runner in the seam, one who does a great job of setting up LBs and SAFs out of the slot. Opponents often don't know whether he's releasing to seal off a defender, or making himself a target in the passing game. He has Round-1 potentially, should be targeted frequently.

3) Hunter Long | 6'5 | 253 | TE | Boston College

10/3 - North Carolina - Long had an excellent game. By my count, he was targeted a whopping 17 times, came away with 9 receptions for 96 yards. The defense knew the ball was coming his way, and even with his QB staring him down, he somehow got open. Amazingly enough, he did so against Chaz Surratt on occasion, one of the nation's best OLBs. Long doesn't look real fast, but he continuously beat guys who are supposed to be faster, quicker. He showed good hands and stretched well to get the ball. His routes aren't super nuanced, but he found the soft spots in zone.

10/10 - Pittsburgh - Long flashed, catching 6 balls for 93 yards. He was great on delayed releases, navigated well through coverage. He also asserted himself as a sound blocker. Overall, he looked like a future Day-2 pick.

10/31 - Clemson - Great game for Long. Yes, he only caught 3 balls for 23 yards. However, he drew huge amounts of coverage, freeing up others. He also chipped in as a decent blocker on run plays.

4) Brevin Jordan | 6'3 | 245 | TE | Miami -

9/12 - UAB - Jordan caught 3 balls for 51 yards, scored 1 TD. He wasn't targeted at all early on, did his job when given the chance. He ran good routes and showed speed after the catch.

9/19 - Louisville - Jordan was dynamic, catching 7 balls for 120 yards, 1 TD. He ran excellent routes and proved to be dangerous at various levels. He flashed good open speed, was able to get yards in chunks, a long for 47 yards.

 

Jordan doesn't have elite TE size, and his 2019 stats of 35 catches with just 2 TDs certainly isn't eye-popping. Had he landed with a different program that utilizes their TEs, and his production would be a whole different story. Going back to even his high school game tape, you see a kid who simply dominates his competition. He's too fast, gifted and athletic to keep at bay. Whether he's used as a big slot WR or flexed out, he's a match up nightmare. Technically speaking, he may not be the most refined receiver or staunch blocker, but he's good enough at both to be an all-around threat.

5) Kenny Yeboah | 6'4 | 240 | TE | Ole Miss

9/26 - Florida - Yeboah was a nice surprise. He gave Florida fits a number of times, proved to be a match up problem. He went 5/91 with 1 TD. He's a player I'll keep an eye on.

10/3 - Kentucky - Yeboah caught 3 balls, but he amassed 83 yards and 1 TD doing so. He showed good functional speed out in the open. 

10/10 - Alabama - 'Bama had issues covering this kid tonight. He caught 7 balls for a whopping 181 yards, scored 2 TDs. His size and speed blend was often to much to handle.

6) Tre McKitty | 6'4 | 247 | TE | Georgia

7) Tommy Tremble | 6'3 | 248 | TE | Notre Dame

8) Noah Gray | 6'4 | 240 | TE | Duke

9/12 - Duke - Gray ended up with 5 catches for 68 yards. He ran good routes and showed good speed, a reliable target. He also asserted himself as a blocker, was adequate bot not great. 

9/19 - Duke - Gray ended up with 5 catches for 61 yards, was Duke's best weapon. He ran very good routes and demonstrated a great feel for the defense, knowing where soft zones were to get open. He again looked like one of the best TEs in the nation.

9) Matt Bushman | 6'4 | 245 | TE | BYU - (Out for Season, Achilles)

Bushman is a production machine. He's amassed at least 500 yards receiving in each of his past three seasons. While not targeted consistently as a TD threat, this has more to do with the offense than any lacking ability on his part. He's good at pressing and splitting the seam, typically displays the ability to stack LB while operating underneath SAFs. He plays with enough functional speed to keep defenders honest.

10) Tony Poljan | 6'7 | 265 | TE | Virginia

10/3 - Clemson - Poljan went 3/25 with 1 TD. He played his part in offering up a big target, was a tough match up. That said, he had a drop and was a very straight line player.

10/10 - NC State - Poljan was very active, targeted often. He had 7 receptions, but went for just 31 yards, as most were short routes. He was a big, reliable target.

10/24 - Miami - Poljan had a good night. While he dropped a couple passes that were contested, he hauled in 4 balls for 26 yards, 1 TD. He was targeted often, open several times.

11) Josh Pederson | 6'5 | 232 | TE | Louisiana-Monroe

9/12 - Army - Pederson had a very solid game, catching 5 balls for 56 yards. He operated as a wing back and split-end, showed off good speed and route running ability. He operated well in the middle of the field, got open several times. He underwhelmed as a blocker, but that isn't his game. 

12) Cary Angeline | 6'6 | 254 | TE | NC State

9/19 - Wake Forest - Angeline caught just 2 balls for 45 yards, but it was obvious he could've/should've been targeted more, a play with some good upside in splitting the seam and stretching a LB corps.

10/3 - Pittsburgh - Angeline had a real solid outing. He had 4 catches for 60 yards, 2 TDs. He was able to beat Paris Ford over the top, showing good athleticism and hands.

10/10 - Virginia - Quiet game receptions wise, as he went just 1 for 32 yards. The 32-yarder was for a TD though, ran a good delay route and got behind LB coverage.

13) Nick Eubanks | 6'4 | 255 | TE | Michigan

11/28 - Pen State - Caught just 1 ball for 6 yards.

14) Kylen Granson | 6'3 | 235 | TE | SMU

9/5 - Texas State - Granson flashed just once, catching a ball and running the distance on what was a called back completion. The only receiving stat registered for him was 1 ball for 11 yards. On the reception that could've been, he showed decent speed and was able to outpace a coupled defenders running down the sideline. I was disappointed that he wasn't targeted more, simply not part of the game plan.

10/24 - Cincinnati - Granson was Buechele's top dog today, hauling in 4 balls for 68 yards. He ran good routes, showing his ability to beat coverage with crossers and pure athleticism. 

11/14 - Tulsa - Granson had just 2 receptions for 24 yards, 1 TD. He showed that he can run the seam as well as crossing routes pretty well. However, he wasn't targeted often.

15) Shaun Beyer | 6'4 | 245 | TE | Iowa

10/24 - Purdue - Had just one catch very early on, was a non-factor overall.

11/13 - Nebraska - Had an amazing one-handed catch early on, wasn't targeted thereafter but once. He had 2 catches for 32 yards.

16) Zach Davidson | 6'4 | 255 | TE | Central Missouri

17) Quintin Morris | 6'4 | 230 | TE | Bowling Green

11/4 - Toledo - Caught 2 balls for 19 yards. Toledo hammered his team all game, so wasn't given much opportunity to shine. 

999) Cade Otton | 6'5 | 240 | TE | Washington

999) Trey McBride | 6'4 | 255 | TE | Colorado State

999) Nick Muse | 6'4 | 250 | TE | South Carolina

999) Jeremy Ruckert | 6'5 | 250 | TE | Ohio State

999) Brant Kuithe | 6'2 | 235 | TE | Utah

999) Luke Farrell | 6'5 | 250 | TE | Ohio State

999) Peyton Hendershot | 6'4 | 255 | TE | Indiana

999) Charlie Kolar | 6'5 | 250 | TE | Iowa State -

999) Jacob Ferguson | 6'4 | 247 | TE | Wisconsin

999) Chase Allen | 6'6 | 240 | TE | Iowa State