Steelers select Penn State tight end Pat Friermuth in the second round

Updated: May 3

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

The Steelers selected Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth with the 55th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. With Vance McDonald retiring this offseason and Eric Ebron being more of just a pass-catcher and not a blocker, the tight end position needed to be addressed in this year's draft and the Steelers decided to do it early.

Freiermuth stands at 6-foot-5, 258 pounds, which is the perfect size for an NFL tight end. He's a complete tight end who can excel both in the passing game and run game. Which has been an issue for Steelers' tight ends in recent years, as they succeed in just one area. McDonald was a complete tight end for a few years, but he wasn't as productive the last two seasons.

Freiermuth appeared in 30 career games and made 26 starts at Penn State, along with being a two-time team captain. Friermuth owns the record for Penn State career touchdown receptions by a tight end with 16, passing Mike Gesicki (15; 2014-17). In addition, he had 92 receptions for 1,185 yards in his career and had a reception in 29-straight games, dating back to the Pitt game on Sept. 8, 2018, which is a school-record among tight ends. Freiermuth frequently made explosive plays as well with 19 career receptions of 20 or more yards during his time at Penn State.

Freiermuth still needs some fine-tuning when it comes to his route running and run blocking, but one of his biggest attributes is his physicalness and want to. With some coaching and development, Freiermuth will only get better with the effort and willingness he displays when playing the game.

Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert were at Freiermuth's pro day, along with tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts. Freiermuth got worked out by Roberts also at the pro day.

"You know that's my guy," Freiermuth said of Roberts. "We've met a couple of times. He's a guy I'd really like to play for."

longtime NFL draft analyst of the former great Steelers tight end.

"You know who he kind of reminded me of? Greg Cosell said of Freiermuth on the Ross Tucker Football Podcast. It's funny, and the way I do this I sit and study and watch full games, coaching tape, and I don't sit around after I finish a guy and say let me spend 20 minutes thinking of who does this guy remind me of, sometimes someone just pops into my head. You know who he reminded me of? Heath Miller. And Heath Miller played 11 years with the Steelers. Finished with almost 600 receptions. Really solid tight end. I believe he was a first-round pick when he came out of Virginia (Miller was the 30th overall pick by the Steelers in 2005).

"I think Freiermuth is a really good prospect. He's got size, he's got route-running ability. He's got hands, he's got competitiveness. He's not a phenomenal blocker. I think he needs to improve in that area, but he's good enough. He will get better in that area because I think he has want-to and commitment. I think he'll be a guy that's very effective at the next level on third down and in the red zone. And we know how critical those two situations are. I think he can be a boundary X, but I think that'll require some work. I think you'll see him there as he gains experience. But I think he's a really solid prospect. Not a special prospect, but my guess is that you can line him up for 10 years."

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