The NFL Draft is finally here and with it a whole new crop of players for you to worry about. There are dozens and dozens of names, to learn, but for fantasy football purposes, there are probably only about 50 or 60 guys you really need to worry about. Let’s break these guys down with 10 Second Scouting, the maiden voyage of a series that lets us do the hard work for you to give you an idea of what to expect from fantasy football rookies in 2021 and beyond. We started with the quarterbacks and running backs and moved on to the wide receivers. Let’s close out this NFL Draft preview with the other pass-catchers: tight ends.
This is an extremely underwhelming class, so only four players have an average draft position on fantasyfootballcalculator.com. For fun, I will give you my favorite player in the NFL Draft, as well. Please remember as you read this that only two rookie tight ends have had 8 usable fantasy football weeks in the last 20 seasons, no rookie tight end had 9 or more. Kyle Pitts might break that mold, but don’t expect anything from anyone other than him this season.
Kyle Pitts, Florida (6’6” 240 pounds) | Dynasty Rookie ADP: 1.07
Sasquatch, Godzilla, Kyle Pitts, Loch Ness. Goblin, ghoul, a zombie with no conscience. Question: what do these things all have in common?
This look at Kyle Pitts is just reconfirming all your priors: dude is really, really, really good. He’s generational. There isn’t anything (fantasy football-related) that he does poorly, and he’s the complete package. There is literally nothing I can say that would add to the conversation, just pull him up on YouTube. He’s a beast and a lock to go in the top-eight in the 2021 NFL Draft. There’s a discussion about if he can break the rookie tight end fantasy football curse and honestly… he might. I’m fully convinced the curse is real, but I can’t figure out a reason to take guys like Hayden Hurst, Hunter Henry, or Austin Hooper over Pitts in your 2021 redraft fantasy football leagues. He could break the mold.
NFL Comparison: Vernon Davis or Calvin Johnson (yes, he’s that good)
Pat Freiermuth, Penn State (6’5” 260 pounds) | Dynasty Rookie ADP: 2.08
Freiermuth is fine, as you can see from his comparison below. He just isn’t transcendent. He would have been the #1 tight end in 2020 and might have battled Noah Fant for the #2 spot in 2019, but he is nowhere near Kyle Pitts. Freiermuth is big, athletic, and has more speed than you would expect for his size. He’s a good and enthusiastic blocker. He’s a good overall tight end and his floor in three years feels like fantasy football TE10 if the right team takes him in the NFL Draft.
NFL Comparison: Hunter Henry
Brevin Jordan, Miami (6’3” 244 pounds) | Dynasty Rookie ADP: 2.12
Brevin Jordan is undersized but still productive. He is highly athletic but looks like a slug next to Kyle Pitts. Miami used him as a priority target and a “get the ball in his hands” type of player, which you don’t usually see for a college tight end. He has great proprioception, which turns his body control from good to great. He has a chance to smash in the NFL, but his closest comparison also looked like he was just waiting for his chance to smash. Jordan in 2020 is a guy to monitor, but not draft.
NFL Comparison: Jonnu Smith
Hunter Long, Boston College (6’5” 253 pounds) | Dynasty Rookie ADP: 3.07
Hunter Long is fine. He’s a perfectly competent tight end, and if you close your eyes you can see him filling one of a half-dozen different roles in the NFL. Is he a de facto WR1 masquerading as a tight end (Mark Andrews)? Is he a depth tight end who scores 7 or so touchdowns a season, just enough to annoy everyone (Cameron Brate)? Or, is he a guy whose calling card is basic high-end competency without anything spectacular (Hayden Hurst)? He should be fine at the NFL level, and deserves to go in day two of the NFL Draft, I just don’t care about him for fantasy football.
NFL Comparison: Cameron Brate or Hayden Hurst
Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame (6’4” 252 pounds) | Dynasty Rookie ADP: N/A (#1 in my heart)
Please do not draft Tommy Tremble in your fantasy football leagues. Instead, just watch this bad boy block. He is a bigger Kyle Juszczyk or Josiah Deguara. He will be a lot of fun to root for, and I hope the 49ers call his name in the NFL Draft, but any fantasy football relevance is ultimately an uphill battle for Tremble.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Juszczyk
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Image Source: Kyle Pitts on Twitter
Average Draft Position per fantasyfootballcalculator.com, height and weight per nbcsports.com/edge