Updated: Sep 6
2021 Rookie to Pro Comparisons - TE Edition
By: Keith Sheeran
Pitts with a touchdown celebration / withthefirstpick.com
Kyle Pitts, Florida
Kyle Pitts is the most talented tight end I’ve seen in years, and we might finally have a tight end that can compete with Travis Kelce. Pitts has all the skills to be a top tight end in the NFL, and he compares well to Darren Waller. Both players are athletic big-bodied receivers with great speed and acceleration. Pitts has shown in college that he is a matchup nightmare for defenders, and this should continue in the NFL. He has excellent hands and can play in the slot or on the outside. Pitts made the transition from wide receiver to tight end look easy, and he’s in a tier of his own when it comes to this year’s tight end class. There’s not too much more you can say about Pitts other than the sky’s the limit for him, and he could become one of the top tight ends in the NFL. Let’s hope he lands with a team that can make him their top receiving target so we can see his talent progress.
Player Comparison: Darren Waller
Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
An interesting tight end in this year’s class is Pat Freiermuth. Freiermuth is an athletic tight end that has the ideal height and size for the position. His nickname is baby Gronk, but he looks more like a Hunter Henry type of tight end. Both are big athletic guys; both are good route runners and have good hands. Henry would be a better run blocker than Freiermuth, but that is something he could work on in the NFL. Freiermuth could end up being the top value at the tight end position. If Kyle Pitts wasn’t in this year’s class, Freiermuth could be a first-round pick. If Freiermuth can land on a team that can make him one of their top targets, he has the ability to make it big in the NFL. Let’s hope he doesn’t get hit with the same injury issues that have plagued Henry so far in his career.
Player Comparison: Hunter Henry
Hunter Long, Boston College
Is there something I’m missing with Hunter Long? Nobody is talking about him, and I don’t know why. He had a great season for Boston College and is a nice sleeper in this year’s draft. Long is a big athletic guy who is one of the versatile tight ends in this year’s draft. He reminds me a lot of Austin Hooper. He has good hands, can block when he has to but is also a threat downfield, and is good after the catch. Long isn’t an explosive tight end, but you don’t have to be when you are as versatile as he is. Hooper has shown he can be a competent tight end in the NFL, so things look promising for Long. If the Tennessee Titans don’t re-sign Jonnu Smith, Long could be a good pick for them in the second round.
Player Comparison: Austin Hooper
Brevin Jordan, Miami
A guy people are really only starting to talk about now is Brevin Jordan. At 6’3”, he is a little bit undersized, but for a tight end, he is very fast. He compares well to Jonnu Smith. Like Smith, Jordan is super athletic, he does a lot of his work after the catch, and he has a great vision in open space. Jordan can lineup in the slot or on the outside, but he can also be used out of the backfield. Jordan has to be the most versatile tight end in this year’s class, so he will be a fun piece to add to any offense. I’m a big Jonnu Smith fan, but Tennessee was not a good spot for him, so I’m hoping that Jordan can end up with a team that can use him to his full potential. If he lands with a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars who need a tight end and does not have much competition on their roster, he could shine in that offense for years to come.
Player Comparison: Jonnu Smith
Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss
Kenny Yeboah is a tight end that is certainly not the finished article, but he could be a good NFL tight end with some improvement. Yeboah would be best joining a team that has a veteran tight end so he can learn from him in his first year in the NFL. Yeboah was a tough player to compare, but I think he looks similar to Gerald Everett. They both have similar frames; they can use their speed to get by defenders and make good use of their size advantage. Yeboah is very raw and will need to refine his skills. He will also need to improve his blocking as he lacks strength, but he can work on this. If Yeboah lands in the right system, he could be a better player than Everett over time. It will be interesting to see where he ends up as I think it will come down to the landing spot and opportunity as to whether Yeboah will make it or not in the NFL.
Player Comparison: Gerald Everett