As we move through the pro days and hear the noise of outlandish forty times and verticals through the roof, I have personally gone through and done more research on every position.
The Football Scout 365 Big Board
Don't forget to check out the full Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Big Board.
After Further Review NFL Draft Edition On YouTube
You can check out our Football Scout 365 After Further Review NFL Draft Edition on Youtube. We have five shows so far, three covering the QB position where I break down and connect the dots between player skillset and what the player displays on film concerning such buzzwords like arm talent, arm angle, pocket presence, etc.
What I look for when evaluating a TE.
Some of the key traits to look for when evaluating the tight end position, do they possess good hands, are they a good to adequate blocker? I examine their size relative to similar style players. Are they used more as an inline blocker, or in the slot, or flexed wide? Or are they versatile enough to do both? Are they a Hybrid, Fullback style TE, a guy I can lineup in the backfield and use to iso block for the RB? Are they a good route runner? Are they athletic in space? Can they get separation when route running? Is the prospect an enthusiastic blocker?
2021 NFL Draft TE Rankings
Okay, so let's dive into the TE rankings;
1) Florida TE Kyle Pitts 6-5 239 lbs Instant Impact Player
Pitts is a special player who fits the mold of what NFL GM's and coaches are looking for in today's football. He can move around the formation, play inline, and split out wide. He is very athletic, with great hands. Pitts, a former QB, is an elite athlete with an elite skill set. Whoever drafts him will be getting an elite talent.
2) Miami TE Brevin Jordan 6-3 245 lbs Potential Upside Player
Like Kyle Pitts, Brevin Jordan is a dynamic player; he can lineup inline, slot, or flex out wide. Jordan has also logged snaps out of the backfield. Jordan is a seam-busting TE who is NFL-ready. He can use work expanding his route tree at the next level. Whoever lands Jordan will be drafting a potential star.
3) Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth 6-5 250 lbs Potential Upside Player
Friermuth is a more traditional player who can line up inline and block in the run game, line up in the slot, or out wide to gain a potential matchup advantage. In high school, the former basketball player showcased his box-out skills against defenders to win one-on-one jump balls. He is not a speedy player but has enough burst off the LOS to get his body in front of second-level defenders to make short to intermediate catches. He can improve his ability as a blocker, needs to work on his hand usage and footwork.
4) Notre Dame TE Tommy Tremble 6-4 248 lbs Potential Upside Player
Tremble is an H-Back move-style player. He is a good blocker in the run game who plays aggressively. To me, his ability as a pass-catcher is not refined but adequate. He needs to improve his route running and his ability to separate at the second and third levels. He does have a good burst off the LOS and can beat defenders early. He can box out defenders to make contested catches. His only big red flag is that he was not utilized a lot as a receiver and needs more reps. It might have more to do with his college development as a receiver; the coaching might be a factor. Once in the NFL, if paired with the right staff, he can be legit TE1 in due time.
5) Boston College TE Hunter Long 6-5 254 lbs Potential Upside Player
Long might be a big-time get in the 2021 NFL draft, and after reviewing his tape, it's easy to see how he might translate and become the second-best TE in the NFL draft. He possesses the tools, good route running ability, has good hands, can block well in pass pro and the run game. He is a tough player who can handle contact and hold on to catches. He attacks the catch point as well or better than some WR's. He lacks athletic ability similar to the top-level players, such as Kyle Pitts, but his game is perfect for the NFL level. He might already be at or near his ceiling, he can still improve his route running, and every TE always has room to improve as a blocker.