2021 Tight End Class "Depth" Overview - Kyle Pitts, and Who Else?

The household tight end name and clear TE1, for me at least, is Kyle Pitts and it isn’t even close. Pitts is so good at what he brings to the game, there is now worry that NFL teams are going to treat him as just a WR and fantasy football Twitter lost it when they realized they may have to play their favorite rookie TE as a WR next season. But, apparently, there are other TEs out there that want to make a case for being on your team (the audacity, I know). In this article I am going to be looking at Pat Freiermuth out of Penn State, Hunter Long from Boston College, and Tre’ McKitty (winner of coolest name) from Georgia. For honorable mention we are going to go with Kenny Yeboah from Ole Miss. You astute fantasy football fans may notice that Brevin Jordan from Miami isn’t listed, but he is my current TE2 so he is going to get his own article coming out soon. So let’s get into it!

Pat Freiermuth, Penn State, 6 ft. 5, 258 lbs

Freiermuth is a junior out of Penn State that had a shortened final season due to an injury and then took time to prepare for the NFL Draft. During his freshman year, he played in 12 games, had 26 receptions, 368 yards, and eight touchdowns. He built on this momentum his sophomore season playing in 13 games, catching 43 passes (career high) for 507 yards (career high), and seven touchdowns.

He got off to a hot start in his junior year pre-injury. In only four games he had 23 receptions, 310 yards, and a touchdown nearly matching his entire freshman year production in that short time. If you are looking for some solid film for Freiermuth, look no further than his game against Buffalo in 2019 where he had eight receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Hunter Long, Boston College, 6 ft. 5, 253 lbs.

Hunter Long is also a three-year player, but he really hit his stride starting in his sophomore and was productive in his final year as well. Playing in 11 games his both of his final two years, Long had 85 receptions, 1,194 yards, and seven touchdowns. He showed consistency, and good agility for his size with his career average for yards per reception being at 14.6 yards.

Long started the 2020 season off strong logging four straight games of at least six receptions and 81 yards. His best game of his final season was actually his final one against Virginia where he brought in eight receptions for 109 yards and a TD.

Tre’ McKitty, University of Georgia- 6 ft. 5, 245 lbs.

McKitty transferred from Florida State to Georgia for his final season, but it was cut short due to injury. His freshman year at FSU wasn’t much to write home about playing in one game and catching one pass for 23 yards. Over his sophomore and junior seasons, however, he played in 19 games, caught 49 passes for 497 yards, and two touchdowns. McKitty wasn’t ever the most involved receiver on his teams, but he was reliable and helped his team move down the field when called upon.

McKitty doesn’t have much in the terms of impressive stat lines from any one game, but his best performance of his career came in 2018 against Samford when he had a most five receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Honorable Mention: Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss- 6 ft. 4, 240 lbs.

Yeboah is a five-year player that was a grad transfer to Ole Miss after playing three seasons at Temple University following a redshirt freshman season. Overall at Temple, Yeboah logged 27 games, 47 receptions, 538 yards, and six touchdowns. He is going to be a beneficiary of recency bias because in his lone season at Ole Miss he played in seven games, but almost replicated his stats with 27 receptions, 524 yards, and six touchdowns.

His best performance at Temple came against Tulane in 2019 when he caught five passes for 63 yards and two touchdowns. At Ole Miss, Yeboah shined against Alabama with seven receptions for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

All in all, there isn’t a ton of depth at this position when it comes to who you should be targeting in your rookie drafts. Kyle Pitts should go in the first round, and Brevin Jordan may sneak into the second. For this group? They could be a late round flyer or you could honestly leave them on the waiver wire until you see that there is a path carved out for them to get playing time when they get into the season.

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