After an impressive performance against the Cleveland Browns, Steelers rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth cracked the NFL’s rookie power ranking list. CBS analyst Josh Edwards has compiled who he believes are the top-10 rookies in the NFL, and for the first time in a while a member of the Steelers has cracked the rankings. Earlier in the season it was Najee Harris but now it’s second-round pick Pat Freiermuth getting some love. Freiermuth compiled 4 receptions, 44 yards, and the game-winning touchdown against the Browns, but his impact was felt in the run game as well with some devastating blocks.
Freiermuth has been one of the most consistent tight ends in the sport since breaking into the league this year. His hands are automatic and his blocking has improved every week. He is the exact kind of tight end any NFL team dreams of, and now with his steady play the Steelers continue to give him more and more opportunity. With the injury of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Freiermuth has become the go-to target on third downs and the player the team turns to in order to pick up tough yardage. Not only is he a physical tight end with the ability to run over a player on any given snap, but he can also make finesse moves that leave defenders on the ground. Freiermuth has the potential to be a game changing tight end in the same vein as Travis Kelce or George Kittle and if he continues to develop the way he has he will achieve that level of play in no time.
PAT FREIERMUTH ON FOURTH DOWN FOR THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/cVQwqAWpfJ— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) October 31, 2021
The question remains however, why isn't Najee Harris featured on this list? He is by far the best rookie running back in the NFL, and he is one of the front runners for offensive rookie of the year? My concern is the NFL world views Harris more as a veteran as the Steelers have never spoken about him as a rookie or given him a traditional ‘Steelers rookie’ type role in which he has to earn his plying time. Harris was just always the guy from the moment he was drafted. NFL media and fans alike still need to praise Harris as a rookie because that is exactly what he is, and it’s not his fault he looks like a veteran back who is more than comfortable in the league.
The Steelers 2021 draft class could go down as a great one. Four offensive starters, a bunch of legit defensive depth with potential, and a great punter. It will be fun to watch this group grow together, but it all starts with the big two guys at the top of the Steelers draft board. This will be Najee Harris’ and Pat Freiermuth’s team for years to come.
But what do you think? Where does Pat Freiermuth rank against all of the rookies in the NFL to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.