TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Merrimac, MA (Brooks)
247 RATING: .8362
POSITION RANK: 4
Receiving: 69 catches, 875 yards (12.7 ypc), 15 touchdowns
Receiving: 43 catches, 507 yards (11.8 ypc), 7 touchdowns
Pat Freiermuth Breakdown
If you’re drawing comparisons to Rob Gronkowski, you’re doing something right. Pat Freiermuth attained the nickname “Baby Gronk” through his similar playing style to the New England Patriots star tight end, but it took a little while for him to find his natural position. A former quarterback and basketball recruit, Freiermuth didn’t just start playing tight end, but once he found it, he took off.
Those comparisons to Gronkowski come from the obvious skill, his pass catching. Freiermuth’s a long target for quarterback Sean Clifford to hit, and his wide catch radius comes from his ability to contort his body into difficult positions. His sticky hands help him stab the ball out of the air and hang onto it if a defender tries to come in and punch it out. Once he secures the catch, teams are in trouble. Tackling a body like his isn’t easy. His strong frame makes it tough to bring him down, and he’s not afraid to lower his shoulder and send a message.
Blocking will be an area of focus for him in the offseason. As of now, he’s not a dominant blocker that can sustain blocks. We’ve seen flashes of his hip drive and ability to control his man, but it’s not quite consistent enough. He’s only had two years of experience though, so another year in the weight room will help with that. NFL Scouts already love his game, and they’ll love it more with extra power in his arsenal
The comparisons to Gronk are noticeable, but Freiermuth himself says he’s a little away from that being true. His humility is admirable, but it will be tough to deny those comparisons when it’s all said in done. He’s already shown that he can be a big playmaker for the Penn State offense, and it seems that the question becomes how high his ceiling can get before he turns pro.