2021 NFL Draft: Top 5 TE prospects

Purdue v Penn State
Purdue v Penn State
Ross Bennellick

Outside of Kyle Pitts, who is projected to be a top 10 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, not much is known of the other premier tight ends heading to Cleveland this Thursday.

With plenty of teams looking to strengthen at the tight end position, who will they be targeting in the draft? Let's look at the top five tight end prospects in the 2021 NFL draft.

The top 5 TE prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft

#1 - Kyle Pitts, Florida

Tennessee v Florida
Tennessee v Florida

As mentioned above, Florida's Kyle Pitts is the highest-rated tight prospect in this year's draft class. In fact, he is just about the most hyped-up tight end that I can recall heading into any draft class over the last 20 years.

It's hardly a surprise though. Pitts' 770 receiving yards and 12 TDs saw earn him a 96.2 PFF grade over the course of the Gators' last campaign, setting a new record for a tight end in college football.

If you're looking for a player comparison, the nearest currently rostered NFL talent to the speedy, safe-handed receiver is Las Vegas Raiders tight end, Darren Waller.

As such, many analysts and scouts feel that the Pitts could one day go on to play as a wide receiver, too.

#2 - Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

Before his season was cut short due to an unfortunate shoulder injury, Pat Freiermuth was a massive part of the Nittany Lions' success.

The big tight end didn't drop a single pass in the red zone in three years at Penn State. He caught the second-highest percentage of catches that went for 15 yards or more among all TEs in college football behind Pitts and had chalked up 310 receiving yards last season before the injury.

Most analysts agree that Freiermuth is the second-best tight end in this year's draft, so it'll be interesting to see at which point he is taken off the board. It could be as early as the first round.

#3 - Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame

Although many see him as more of a Nick Boyle/Adam Trautman type of blocking tight end, Notre Dame's Tommy Tremble models his game around San Francisco 49ers, George Kittle.

It's an easy trap to fall into since Tremble's 83.7 run-blocking grade was the highest among all tight ends in college football in 2020 via PFF. But Tremble also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds at his pro-day event, which is incredible given the size of the man.

Big, quick and equipped with a safe pair of hands, Tremble could go on to develop into a top tight end in the NFL.

#4- Brevin Jordan, Miami

Brevin Jordan is set to be another 'unicorn' in the NFL.

The Florida Hurricanes star has the speed of a running back but is the size of a tight end, meaning he could operate in numerous offensive schemes in the NFL.

Jordan is known for making huge gains after catching the ball and led all tight ends in college football with 353 yards in the metric last season. For my money, Jordan might not be a starting tight end immediately in the NFL. But he's a player endowed with athletic gifts and, as such, huge potential upside, so expect to see him go off the board in the second round.

Don't be surprised if he ends up operating in the backfield in the NFL as a fullback or a running back either.

#5 - Hunter Long, Boston College

Many fans and analysts consider Boston College Eagles tight end Hunter Long a sleeper-pick in this year's NFL draft.

Long is faster than he appears. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.63 seconds at Boston's Pro Day two months back.

His deceptive speed seems to catch opposing defenses off-guard. Long chalked up 685 receiving yards and five touchdowns last season. This is even more impressive when you take into consideration that the tight end didn't really see much game time at all until his sophomore year.

Edited by Jay Lokegaonkar
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