Steelers TE Pat Freiermuth jumps into the first round of 2021 NFL re-draft

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88). Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth (88). Mandatory Credit: Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports /

Pat Freiermuth was spectacular for the Steelers in his rookie season. Here’s why he soars into the first round of a recent 2021 NFL re-draft.

Nobody should be disappointed with the effort that rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth gave the Pittsburgh Steelers in his first season in 2021. After being available when the second round rolled along, Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert wasted no time making this selection.

While many have argued that the Steelers made a mistake by not taking an offensive lineman in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft, they certainly didn’t miss on the talent when it comes to Freiermuth. During his rookie season, he showed excellent, tough hands as a receiver and was fantastic when blocking on the move.

The Steelers have the makings of a future Pro Bowl tight end, and it seems they have finally found a long-term answer at the position they have been searching for since Heath Miller’s retirement.

Recently, Ryan Fowler of The Draft Network comprised a 2021 NFL re-draft in which he selected who he believed each NFL team would take in a hypothetical do-over. The Steelers had not one, but two of their draft selections going in the first round.

Fowler had the Steelers passing on Najee Harris, who was selected just one pick later by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The team initially took RB Travis Etienne one pick after Harris, but the explosive running back landed on IR before playing a game this season.

With the 29th overall pick in the 2021 NFL re-draft, Fowler had the Green Bay Packers going with Pat Freiermuth. The well-rounded TE prospect out of Penn State would have been an excellent fit for Green Bay’s offense. He could lineup at multiple spots and stretch the seam with pinpoint passes from Aaron Rodgers over the middle of the field.

Steelers TE deserves to be a first-round pick in a re-draft

Seeing what Freiermuth was able to accomplish with bad quarterback play as a rookie was impressive. Though I would argue that he should have been targeted much more than he was, Freiermuth still finished his rookie season with 60 receptions on 79 targets (75.9 percent catch rate) for 497 yards and 7 touchdowns, via Pro Football Reference. Freiermuth also caught 4 of 5 passes in his lone playoff game against the Chiefs.

When looking at all of the young tight ends around the NFL right now, Freiermuth’s name rightfully pops up in discussion as one of the best. Even for great prospects, it takes most tight ends a few years to get acclimated to the NFL game before they can really make an impact. For some (like O.J. Howard and David Njoku) that impact never really comes.

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It’s encouraging to know that the Pittsburgh Steelers might have two players from the 2021 draft class that could be selected in the first round if teams were given another chance. Pat Freiermuth is going to be an excellent football player in the NFL, and he’s a player that could stick around in Pittsburgh for a long time.