2021 NFL Draft Tight End Rankings: Daubert’s List
99 percent of the time, you can chalk up the tight end position as a waste of time. It’s virtually impossible to find a star at the position and more often than not, it’s by lucking your way into a late round gem. Will the 2021 NFL Draft be different? It sure looks that way. Here are your tight end rankings for the 2021 NFL Draft.
1: Kyle Pitts (Florida)
Kyle Pitts is the best overall player in the draft and the best college tight end I’ve ever laid my eyes on. If you know by now, I’m overly skeptical on draft prospects so that’s saying a lot coming from me. Pitts is an alien at a position where it’s impossible to find talent. I don’t know how else to describe him.
Think Darren Waller except like a steroid version of that. Pitts is a different beast. 50-50 balls don’t apply to Pitts. He just wins all of them. His speed is off the charts for the 6-foot-6 frame. I don’t know how you guard him. He’s miles better than the rest of the class.
2: Pat Freiermuth (Penn State)
Pat Freiermuth has often been tabbed the Rob Gronkowski of the draft. God, that’s asking a lot. I think you have to put Freiermuth a clear notch below that. The Penn State product isn’t nearly the blocker Gronk is and he just is missing a lot to his game. Freiermuth looks clunky and lacks twitch.
Freiermuth has a long way to go. He still struggles seperating with more than his pure size. Freiermuth is physical as hell and brings it with his 260 pound frame. I think there’s a chance he turns into a capable starter but I can’t see how you can pull the trigger sooner than later in round two.
3: Brevin Jordan (Miami)
When you turn on a Miami game, you almost think you’re watching David Njoku and then you become really disappointed. That’s the only way I know how to describe it. He’s a total project at the position. Can he get open and win? Sure, but Jordan is totally raw, often times looks lost, and never plays in line.
The burst and speed are all there. At the same time he doesn’t look imposing, loses contested catch situations, and needs to add power. Good luck. It all depends on how high you’re willing to take a lump of clay.
4: Tre’ McKitty (Georgia)
Speaking of good luck. You’re taking shots in the dark already. See what I mean about the tight end position? Tre’ McKitty checks in at number four on the list and he literally has zero college production. Dead serious. McKitty had six receptions on the entire 2020 season.
A dominant Senior Bowl and toolsy potential makes McKitty a worthwhile gamble. If you’re looking for a total sleeper at the position, this is my pick. The sad part is, McKitty could turn into absolutely nothing.
5: Nick Eubanks (Michigan)
It felt like Nick Eubanks was at Michigan forever. He kinda was. Eubanks started two of his final five years with the Wolverines. Maybe this is stupid but I did feel like the Michigan weapons were snake bite by horrendous quarterback play.
He’s not a terrible blocker and has good size at 6-foot-5, 256. I also like his hands. He’s a dependable target. He just doesn’t have much production.
6: Tommy Tremble (Notre Dame)
Notre Dame has a pretty good track record on their side. Kyle Rudolph, Tyler Eifert, John Carlson, Cole Kmet, and yes, I’m counting Chase Claypool. There’s been a bunch of good one’s in the past too. I’m not sure anybody Tremble to be a contributor, but he was a year ago.
Frankly, I’m not sure you’re even getting more than a blocker. The good news is he’s damn good at that skillset. If he develops as a receiver, he could be a steal. Being the best blocking tight end in the class is good enough to notch him in as number six.
7: Hunter Long (Boston College)
Hunter Long is limited but most tight ends are. Could Long be that zone beater like Austin Hooper that just sort of picks up yardage but never really seems like he kills you? You know exactly what I’m talking about. Long has a good frame and can win those contested catch situations.
The BC product just often times looks under control. Long has potential to be a capable blocker too. He’s probably a middle round guy you hope can develop into more.
8: Kenny Yeboah (Ole Miss)
Kenny Yeboah averaged an astonishing 19.4 yards per reception. He made some big plays for Ole Miss. He also was a threat at Temple prior to transferring. I’m still hung up on his bad Senior Bowl outing. He just looked sluggish and stuck in the mud. Something just isn’t adding up to me. Yeboah blew up against Alabama but did relatively nothing the rest of the year. Talk about a pretzel trying to untangle!
9: Noah Gray (Duke)
Noah Gray was just there man. When Duke was out there on offense, the ball just finds that guy. The stats are eye popping but he looks the part. That’s a tight end right there. More athletic than he probably gets credit for. Guy can play a little. We’ll see.
10: Matt Bushman (BYU)
Injuries have derailed Matt Bushman or he’s probably higher on the list. Good time to buy low? He didn’t play at all in 2020 but was as good as anybody not named Kyle Pitts if you take his full career into consideration.
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