Pat Freiermuth should hear his name relatively early in this month’s NFL Draft. Most draft sites have Freiermuth pegged as the second-best tight end prospect on the board behind Florida’s Kyle Pitts, but Freiermuth is supremely confident in his abilities at the next level.
Leading up to the draft, Freiermuth has been working out with fellow tight end prospect Hunter Long, who played at Boston College. They initially became friends after COVID-19 hit last year. They both live in Massachusetts, and they were able to access certain gyms.
Then, they signed with the same agency as part of pre-draft preparations, placing them side-by-side in numerous California workouts. Long himself is a legitimate prospect, but Freiermuth believes he has a slight advantage on his buddy.
“I’m more versatile and probably more athletic on the field, just getting in and out of breaks,” Freiermuth said on Glenn Clark Radio April 12. “We bring different things to the table. He’s going to be a very successful tight end in the league, but I just think that I’m more versatile.”
Freiermuth’s appeal to the league is very much evident. At 6-foot-5 and 258 pounds, the tight end could provide mismatches for offensive coordinators to exploit. Unfortunately, shoulder surgery during the offseason kept him from working out at Penn State’s pro day, but his film and stats with the Nittany Lions demonstrate his immense potential as a receiving weapon.
In his three years at Penn State, Freiermuth caught 92 passes for 1,185 yards during his three years at Penn State. He was voted second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media in 2019, and he earned first-team All-Big Ten honors by the coaches in 2020.
He owns the Penn State record for most career touchdowns for a tight end with 16, a number that surely would have risen had he elected to return for his senior season. In fact, he didn’t drop a single pass in the redzone in 30 targets throughout his three years.
Freiermuth formed a relationship with current Raven Trace McSorley in 2018 (the quarterback’s senior year and the tight end’s freshman year).
“We stay in touch,” Freiermuth said. “He always hits me up after games and before games to wish me good luck. Especially during this process, he’s been there a lot. He’s taught me how to handle it.”
A reconnection with a former friend isn’t the only attractive element that the Ravens provide Freiermuth. Baltimore’s system and the overall history of Ravens tight ends are both intriguing as well.
“The Ravens run similar plays to what we did in our offense. The more time I’d get on the field, that would be awesome to go out there and play with guys like Mark Andrews, Lamar Jackson and Hollywood Brown,” Freiermuth said. “It’s going to be interesting to see what they do with tight end at the draft, but it definitely intrigues me with how much 12-personnel they run.”
Freiermuth should be an appealing target for the Ravens, but it may be difficult for Baltimore to add him in the draft. Freiermuth is projected to go early in the second round, according to most sites, which would mean the Ravens would most likely have to trade up in the second round or select him at No. 27. He certainly has the talent to merit the 27th selection, but that would mean bypassing positions (receiver and edge rusher) where the perceived need is greater.
Wherever he goes, Freiermuth will embody the hard-nosed, gritty player that somewhat personifies the culture the Ravens have cultivated. That was humorously reflected when he was asked, “Which is more satisfying: putting someone on their ass or catching a touchdown?”
“I would say putting someone on their ass,” Freiermuth said. “It is different, because scoring a touchdown, you get the crowd to hype you up. Putting someone on their ass, it gets you going and you get to talk some smack to the guy you just put on the ground. The real football guys on the sideline get hype for you, so it’s definitely got to be the block.”
For more from Freiermuth, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Penn State Athletics