The 2021 NFL draft will occur across downtown Cleveland locations that include FirstEnergy Stadium (home of the Browns), the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a select number of prospects will take the stage.
The first round will be held on Thursday, April 29. Rounds 2-3 will take place on Friday, April 30. Rounds 4-7 will be held Saturday, May 1. The draft will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.
USA TODAY Network NFL reporters break down the draft position-by-position. Here are the top tight end prospects:
1. Kyle Pitts, Florida
Pros: Twitchy and explosive talent with a rare combination of tools. A matchup nightmare. Competitive after the catch. Has dominant traits in the end zone. Will bring the effort every down no matter his role.
Cons: Has slender frame that may have issues adding and keeping on the necessary bulk to handle in-line duties. Won’t get much, if any, push at the point of attack as a run blocker.
Kyle Pitts scored 12 touchdowns in eight games for the Florida Gators in the 2020 season. (Photo: Brad McClenny, Gainesville Sun)
2. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
Pros: Advanced and effective route runner who will read a defense assertively. Can adjust to the ball. Will make the tough catch over the middle, extending his body with the defenders bearing down. Every-down player who matches efforts within all roles.
Cons: Still needs to develop his game as a blocker. Won’t lock his hands onto the defender. Top-end speed can be caught from behind.
3. Brevin Jordan, Miami (Fla.)
Pros: Will get from point A to point B in a hurry. A menace after the catch who picks up a lot of yards via tenacity and athletic ability. Shows good effort in the trenches and can translate his speed into power.
Cons: Slightly undersized for the position, especially in the trenches when matched up
against defensive linemen. Needs more attention to detail as a route runner.
4. Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame
Pros: Can get up the field in a hurry. Makes tight turns while moving at a high rate while maintaining his control and balance. Will attack the pass with his hands and can come away with it in traffic. Creates power from his speed. A plus-blocker both in-line and in space.
Cons: Needs more power from his base, and his hands need more grip strength. Doesn’t track the vertical pass well.
5. Hunter Long, Boston College
Pros: A big and friendly target who shows urgency out of his breaks. Will come back to the ball with his hands up and in front. Excels with straight-line movement. Effort and reach are there as a blocker. Will use his athleticism to stick to his man.
Cons: Shows some awkward, unbalanced movement when moving laterally. Doesn’t get movement as a blocker, gets tossed around by linemen.
6. Kenny Yeboah, Mississippi
Pros: Good buildup speed through the seam that can quickly get past the second level of the defense. Matchup problem that stems from his versatile tool set. Excellent and natural ball skills. Quick to tuck the ball and turn north. Shows blocking potential with a strong lockout and powerful hands.
Cons: Inconsistent performance as a blocker. Has some awkward and imbalanced movement patterns to him.
7. Tony Poljan, Virginia
8. Tre’ McKitty, Georgia
9. Noah Gray, Duke
10. Nick Eubanks, Michigan
11. Luke Farrell, Ohio State
12. Cary Angeline, North Carolina State
13. Dylan Soehner, Iowa State
14. Jack Stoll, Nebraska
15. Matt Bushman, BYU
16. John Bates, Boise State
17. Shaun Beyer, Iowa
18. Briley Moore, Kansas State
19. Miller Forristall, Alabama
20. Quintin Morris, Bowling Green
21. Zach Davidson, Central Missouri
22. Pro Wells, TCU
23. Josh Pederson, Louisiana-Monroe
24. Hunter Kampmoyer, Oregon
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