In the last few weeks, we’ve been going position-by-position and previewing this year’s draft class. Before we get into the reports though, it’s important that we explain how our grading scale works. As a scouting staff, we use common terminology to grade every trait that we evaluate. We use a 1-9 scale with a 1 representing a “Reject” grade and a 9 meaning a “Rare” grade for whatever trait we are evaluating. We spend a lot of time in our internal Scout School making sure that our scales are calibrated with one another, and this common scale and set of language is a key aspect to ensuring that our evaluations are consistent (that…and cross-checks).

Additionally, for each position in the book, there are positional grading scales. As opposed to grading traits, these scales apply to stacking the final grades for each prospect.

The final tight end scale is as follows

9.0 – 7.0High-end 3 down starter. Pro Bowl level.
6.9 – 6.73 down starter with Y and H ability.
6.6 – 6.5Lower-end starter with Y or H ability.
6.1 – 6.0Developmental. Top traits but needs time.
5.9Backup with Y and H ability.
5.8Backup with Y and H ability.
5.73rd TE (special teams ability desired).

For this preview, we will look at Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth.

Pat Freiermuth: TE 2 of 22  | Final Grade: 6.7

Report by Matt Manocherian

One Liner

Freiermuth lacks top-end athleticism, but his value lies in his versatility and football intelligence, putting the defense in a bind with his ability to play in both phases.


Pat Freiermuth plays tight end in Penn State’s shotgun-heavy offense, splitting his time between lining up in line, as a wing, and in the slot. He is a rare two-time team captain as a true junior, and he started 26 of the 30 games that he participated in before shoulder surgery ended his 2020 season in November. He has good size with an even build throughout, and he is a bit of a throwback in that he has a traditional tight end skill set. He shows good but not special athleticism, and he consistently plays under control with strong football intelligence. He shows good effort and toughness, and he can contribute in both phases.

Pass Game

In the pass game, Freiermuth uses his hands well and shows good route refinement to get off the line. He doesn’t show top-end juice, but he has very good route savvy with a quarterback-level understanding of how to play leverages. He is a very good route runner with excellent route precision. He does a great job of using body positioning to create a passing window, especially in the red zone. He also works well in the scramble drill to make himself available to the QB. All that said, he lacks the speed and athleticism to consistently pose a threat one-on-one against good NFL coverage defenders. 

Freiermuth is a strong hands catcher, especially in contested catch situations and through contact, but has had a few drops from time to time. He is a threat to break tackles after the catch, but he doesn’t show breakaway speed. He is a good pass blocker for the position who can handle blitzers and low-end pass rushers one-on-one.

Run Game

In the run game, Freiermuth can fulfill all the duties required of an in-line tight end. He is more of a stalemate and mirror guy rather than a true road grader, but he does a good job of neutralizing defenders and turning his rear end towards the hole. He functions very well in combination blocks, with good redirect ability and a good feel for when to move to the second level. He shows good balance, playing on his feet and under control. He is a very good stalk blocker when lined up on the outside, as well.

Last Word

Freiermuth is a true Y-tight end with the versatility to also play H. He can put the defense in a bind because he can exploit poor linebackers in coverage but will make the defense pay in the run game if they try to counter him with an extra defensive back. 

He is not a high-end game-changer, but his value is that he will exploit defenses that have linebackers who are merely sufficient in coverage.

VersatilityTop-end speed
Football intelligenceElusiveness
Body controlNeutralized by top defenders

Critical Factors

Blocking Ability6
Receiving Ability6

Positional Factors

Run Block6
Pass Block6
Play Strength6
Play Speed5
Catching Skills6
Run After Catch5
Clutch Performance6
ST Value6


YearTrgtRecComp%YdsAir YdsYACTDYds/TrgtDrops


Advanced ReceivingEPAPositive %
YearOn-Trgt Catch %Catchable Catch %YAC Per RecTrgt ShareADoTRec RatingTotalPer Trgtvs. Manvs. Zone

Deep Dive

Route RunningBlown Blk %Total PointsTotal Points Rtg
Out %

Sports Info Solutions (SIS) brings you the third annual edition of The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, with scouting reports and statistical breakdowns on over 300 college football players who are likely to be drafted or signed as rookie free agents in 2021 (a glossary for the below stats can be found here). The book also includes unique and informative NFL team pages, research deep-dives by the SIS R&D team, articles on key football subjects (including injuries), and the NCAA version of their flagship football statistic, Total Points.