New series we’ll conduct throughout the offseason. A review of individual players’ seasons, looking at their good, bad, role, and future with the team.
Today, a review of TE Pat Freiermuth’s rookie season.
Pat Freiermuth – Tight End (Entering 2nd Season)
Pros: Good frame and length with big hands. Well-rounded tight end. Strong football IQ and readiness, didn’t look like a rookie tight end in 2021. Hands are by far best asset. Makes tough catches look easy, takes the ball away in traffic and wins in contested situations. Willing to take a shot to make the catch. Drops are rare and surprising when they occur. Great feel for finding soft spot against zone coverage and works to get in QB’s vision. Understands leverage, knows how to get open. Quicker after the catch than anticipated, decent YAC player. Size and strength to fall forward and drag smaller defenders, good finisher. Improved burst at top of route throughout year, creates more separation with better footwork and explosion.
Plus blocker out in space on sweeps, able to hit a moving target and stick. Impressive finisher who runs his feet. Serviceable in pass protection. Has a desire to block and get better. Durable, available, and didn’t seem to hit the rookie wall. Seems like a good teammate who does what it takes to win. Takes pride in details to help team.
Notable Clips (Contested Catches):
Cons: Must get stronger and improve in-line blocking. Struggles at the point of attack and can be overwhelmed, especially when pitted against 4-3 defensive ends. Blocking tendencies become predictable as Y-off tight end on split zone blocks to help him have momentum and the angle to the block. Needs to be more consistent out of his three-point stance and looks a little uncomfortable in it right now. Not a dynamic athlete and makes most of his damage underneath in the 5-15 yard range. Won’t run away from many defenders.
Will have to prove he can be a true everydown tight end at a higher snap rate than he did as a rookie. Concussion concerns, suffered two of them in 2021, missing one game.
Notable Clips (Poor Run Blocking Between Tackles):
Role: Rookie in 2021. Finished year with 60 receptions for 497 yards (8.3 YPC) and 7 TDs across 16 games. Touchdowns tied a Steelers’ rookie tight end mark with Eric Green. Played 62% of the total offensive snaps, 683 total. Longest reception was just 24 yards, second shortest “long” of anyone with 50+ receptions (Leonard Fournette #1).
Future: Freiermuth enjoyed a solid rookie season, meeting and arguably surpassing expectations after being thrust in a bigger role following Eric Ebron’s injuries. Freiermuth is already the Steelers’ #1 tight end and should be even better his sophomore season if he adds muscle and importantly, should he better his in-line blocking. He’ll be a security blanket for whoever is at QB next year and should be a long-term fixture in the offense.
PREVIOUS SCOUTING REPORTS
CB Arthur Maulet
RB Najee Harris
DT Cam Heyward
OG Trai Turner
DL Henry Mondeaux
RB Benny Snell
SS Terrell Edmunds