Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a number of draft needs which they needed to address. Unlike in 2020, with no first round selection in the draft, the Steelers possessed a full allotment of draft picks. With eight picks, the following positions could be viewed as a priority entering the selection process: running back, center, pass rusher and even inside linebacker. Those positions, and more, were positions of need to help the black-and-gold get to the next level in 2021. There have been numerous thoughts and debates regarding what the team will do in Round 2 of the NFL Draft.
When the dust settled, the Steelers have selected Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth, with their second pick in the draft.
Pittsburgh Steelers take Pat Freiermuth— Kevin Winter (@KevinPWinter) May 1, 2021
Penn State TE with pick 55
For those who may not know much about Freiermuth as a player, this is his overall breakdown of his game, per his NFL Draft Profile:
Big, athletic tight end with the potential to be a combo player at the position, helping as a run blocker and pass catcher. Freiermuth needs to tighten up his technique as a run blocker but his foot quickness and agility led to some splashy recoveries and block finishes that foreshadow his future potential. He’s athletic and has good build-up speed down the seam to attack the second level. However, he’s average in separating underneath. Will need to do a better job of accessing his basketball background and putting a body on defenders to “block out” and create space for the throw. He’ll need to have his season-ending injury vetted, but he has Day 2 talent for teams looking to bolster their 12 personnel package or add production from their Y tight end.
- Two-year team captain who does not lack in self-confidence.
- Balanced his time between wing, slot and in-line tight end.
- Coveted combination of size and athletic ability.
- Former basketball player with quality feet in space for a big man.
- Displayed ability to keep one-hand touches alive for the catch.
- Big target for chain-moving throws on third down.
- Has build-up speed to climb past linebackers into seam.
- Highly competitive with ball in his hands.
- Smooth in space and stacks downhill yards after the catch.
- Pummels tacklers with phone pole stiff-arm.
- Has size and blocking potential to become a true Y tight end.
- Makes impressive athletic recoveries and finishes blocks.
- Can improve his angles as a blocker.
- Needs better first-engagement pop.
- Inconsistent footwork to sustain second-level blocks.
- Slowed by physical coverage.
- Needs to clear clingy defender at the top of the route.
- Average quickness to separate on lateral route breaks.
- Inconsistent catch focus to finish in traffic.
- Can do a better job of putting defenders on his hip and out of the catch.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ draft needs in the remaining rounds of the draft now would be considered: center, inside linebacker, outside linebacker, cornerback among other positions.
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Check out more on this pick in the breaking news podcast below: