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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Tight End Prospects

April 7, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Tight End Prospects
NFL teams covet Florida Gators TE Kyle Pitts.
Kyle Pitts has unbelievable potential. (Randy Sartin-USA Today Sports)

Assessing this year’s tight end draft class after Kyle Pitts was harder than anticipated. This diverse class features full-time receiving tight ends like Brevin Jordan, as well as old-school blockers like Pat Freiermuth. One thing is certain: the quality of talent is much higher as a group than it is for running backs or wide receivers.

Previous 2021 NFL Draft Preview coverage:

Top Five Wide Receiver Prospects

Top Five Running Back Prospects 

Top Five Quarterback Prospects 

1. Kyle Pitts, Florida Gators

Scouting Report

Height: 6’6”
Weight: 245 pounds
Pro day 40-yard dash time: 4.4 seconds

Pitts smashes every single measurable for a football player coming into the NFL, with size (245 pounds, a wingspan of 83.5 inches and hand sizes of 10.5 inches), and speed (running a 40-yard dash in 4.4 seconds). That combo will draw comparisons to the great Calvin Johnson. (For shits and giggles, here’s the scouting report we wrote about Johnson when he was drafted.) Pitts’ game film is impressive, blending seamless route running with sure-handedness. Despite the lack of tape on his in-line blocking, we saw enough explosiveness at his pro-day to know he can develop that skill further.

Possible Landing Spots

Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals

Fantasy Outlook

Both Miami and Cincy will be looking to add a vertical element up the seams. Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins sorely need a number one pass-catcher and that will either be Ja’Marr Chase or Pitts. For the Bengals, Pitts would become a volume pass-catcher filling in for A.J. Green‘s targets. No matter where Pitts goes, he should be a top seven Fantasy tight end in 2021. While he isn’t expected to land in Dallas, here’s an idea of what he’d be capable of with Dak Prescott throwing to him (see video below). Still, even Stephen A. Smith doesn’t think Pitts could fix what ails the ‘Boys.

2. Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Scouting Report

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 241 pounds
Pro day 40-yard dash time: 4.59 seconds

Tremble has incredible raw potential, perhaps enough to become the next Aaron Hernandez (but, without the whole murder thing, hopefully). He’s unpolished, but even as a low round draft pick, Tremble should see plenty of the field thanks to his blocking role in Notre Dame’s pro style offense. While his upside is clearly palpable, he will need further development in his route-running and pre- and post-snap understanding of the play.

Possible Landing Spots

Baltimore Ravens, New Orleans Saints

Fantasy Outlook

Baltimore needs to pass more, regardless of what formation. If it wants to continue its three-TE tendencies and stretch the field, then Tremble is the best option — especially given how the Ravens have a history of developing tight ends. The Saints, the other hand, don’t particularly need more pass-catchers, but they do need someone fast inside. In a best-case scenario, if Tremble goes to Baltimore, we could be looking at 60 catches, 800 yards, and 6-to-8 touchdowns. Here’s why we are so excited about him.

3. Brevin Jordan, Miami Hurricanes

Scouting Report

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 245 pounds
Pro day 40-yard dash time: 4.69 seconds

Jordan has a compact frame, allowing him to run through tackles after making contested catches. While he is an incredibly smooth route-runner with the quickness to separate, we downgraded him for always playing off the line of scrimmage. So it should come as no surprise then, that as a blocker, Jordan has room for improvement in the NFL, lacking in both size and technique to adequately block edge rushers.

Possible Landing Spots

Miami Dolphins, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills

Fantasy Outlook

Buffalo may seem like an unlikely suitor, but it makes sense if it split Jordan out against a linebacker when it runs two-TE sets or it could slit him out from 11 personnel to form 10 personnel to take advantage of his size. Assuming he lands in Buffalo, expect Jordan to put a mediocre 40+ reception, 400+ yard season with the Bills.

4. Pat Freiermuth, Penn St. Nittany Lions

Scouting Report

Height: 6’5”
Weight: 251 pounds
Projected 40-yard dash time: 4.72 seconds

Freiermuth (AKA “Baby Gronk”) largely skipped the track and field portion of his pro day, opting not to lift, jump or sprint in the wake of shoulder surgery. Despite lacking elite speed and separation, he brings size mismatches to the red zone while punishing defenders as a runner after the catch. Freiermuth is perhaps the most polished blocker among tight ends in this draft, but there is still room for improvement.

Possible Landing Spots

Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings

Fantasy Outlook

Freiermuth is different from the other tight ends on this list because he’s so advanced as a blocker. The offenses listed above which rely on a smash mouth philosophy will benefit from drafting the Vance McDonald-esque tight end.

5. Hunter Long, Boston College Eagles

Scouting Report

Height: 6’5”
Weight: 254 pounds
Pro day 40-yard dash time: 4.65 seconds

While completely boring as a prospect, Long is emerging as of the more solid values at tight end in the later rounds. Despite lacking in physical talent, he consistently makes contested catches by boxing out opposing defenders. Long lacks speed and explosiveness when creating separation at the college level, but he might have the highest pro football IQ among tight ends in this draft. Still, his speed, strength and frame will need to be further developed.

Possible Landing Spots

Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers

Fantasy Outlook

Both the Panther and Chargers run similar offenses — run-focused with deep aerials. We doubt Long starts as a TE1 as a rookie; he’ll most likely be blocking as a TE2.

RotoRob Tune of the Day

English singer/songwriter/guitarist Dave Mason is best known for time with Traffic, but he’s played with a ton of big names and enjoyed a fine solo career as well. In 1972, he released perhaps his finest solo effort, Headkeeper, and one of the album’s longest tracks is “World in Changes.”

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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Wide Receiver Prospects

March 31, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Wide Receiver Prospects
Ja’Marr Chase should be the first wide receiver off the board. (Touchdown Wire-USA Today) Outside of LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase, it is hard to imagine a drier draft year for wide receivers than 2021. NFL teams should approach this year’s draft looking to add value receivers to their core pass-catchers. Teams like the New York Giants […]
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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Running Back Prospects

March 16, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Running Back Prospects
The 2021 NFL Draft features one of the more forgettable classes of running backs in recent history. None are projected to have elite speed or strength, so don’t anticipate teams deviating this year from the recent trend of drafting them later. Here is our list of the top five running back prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
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2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Quarterback Prospects

March 3, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on 2021 NFL Draft Preview: Top Five Quarterback Prospects
Lawrence enjoyed arguably his best season in 2020, coming up just short of a national title while completing 69.2 per cent of his 334 attempts for 3,153 yards with 24 touchdowns and five interceptions — outpacing his 2019 efficiency by throwing for 0.4 yards per attempt more and tossing fewer interceptions. His skill set screams for an RPO spread/vertical offense featuring both the arm and legs of the quarterback, pre-snap and post-snap. Assuming he lands Lawrence lands in Jacksonville, we are skeptical the Jags will optimize the talent they’re given as the organization loves shooting themselves in the foot by running the ball. Because he needed labrum surgery on his non-throwing shoulder, he moved his pro day back to February 12, so now has seven months to recover.
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Transactional Analysis: Carson Wentz Trade

February 27, 2021 | by Lucas Chan | Comments Comments Off on Transactional Analysis: Carson Wentz Trade
Well, that’s finally come to a resolution as last week Wentz was traded to the Indianapolis Colts for a 2021 third round pick and a conditional 2022 second round pick (which becomes a first rounder if Wentz plays 75 per cent or more of Indy’s snaps in the coming year and the Colts make the playoffs).
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