2021 NFL Top 5 Rookie TE Rankings
The number one in this group is the wildly talented Kyle Pitts. But the rest of the tight end group this year does offer other intriguing prospects who could be nice contributors in the NFL.
Kyle Pitts (Florida) – A match-up nightmare for defensive coordinators in the SEC this past season. Pitts really cemented himself as the clear TE1 in this draft class along with being mentioned in the conversation to be the first pass-catcher to come off the board in April. Pitts had 100 receptions, 1492 receiving yards, 18 receiving touchdowns, and 14.9 yards per catch. He was also the recipient of the 2020 John Mackey Award as the nation’s most outstanding Tight End while also earning consensus All-American honors.
COMPARISONS: Shades of Darren Waller
Pat Freiermuth (Penn State) – Freiermuth had his 2020 campaign cut short by a season-ending injury that only allowed him to play 4 games. Pat has proven to be a good contributor in the red zone by having 15 total touchdowns in his first two seasons at Penn State. He showed the ability to be physical after the catch and wasn’t afraid to run over defensive backs in the open field and give a nasty stiff arm.
COMPARISONS: Shades of Rob Gronkowski
Brevin Jordan (Miami) – Every season at Miami Brevin Jordan made improvements. In 2020 Brevin accumulated 38 receptions, 576 receiving yards, 7 touchdowns, and 15.2 yards per catch. He flashed his athletic ability with being able to run away from defenders in the open field and rack up yards after the catch. Jordan isn’t physically imposing but his versatility can make him a contributor at the next level.
COMPARISONS: Shades of Jonnu Smith
Tre’ McKittey (Georgia) – McKittey transferred out of Florida State and made his way over to Georgia where he only played 4 games with a potential knee ailment that cut his season short. Tre’ showed the ability to create some separation from defenders with some quick burst and good athleticism. He also proved he wasn’t afraid to get involved in the trenches and be an effective blocker. Over his time at Florida State and Georgia, he totaled 56 receptions, 628 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, and 11.2 yards per catch.
COMPARISONS: Shades of Irv Smith Jr.
Hunter Long (Boston College) – The feature player for Boston College this past season was Hunter Long who led the nation in targets from the tight end position. Over the season he totaled 57 receptions, 685 receiving yards, 5 touchdowns, and 12 yards per catch. Long was a consistent blocker for the Eagles using his frame to his advantage. He also showed a diverse route tree being able to line up in different spots within the offense and having good success with contested catches.
COMPARISONS: Shades of Mark Andrews.