Outside of the Kyle Pitts, there isn’t going to be much to talk about for rookie production this season in this tight end class. There are a few that will have some dynasty value but nothing overly exciting. So this will likely be a shorter article than the previous ones.
1. Kyle Pitts– What can I say about Kyle Pitts that hasn’t already been regurgitated on Twitter hundreds of times? Pitts is one of the most athletically gifted TEs to come out of college. A lot of fantasy football analysts have Kyle Pitts in their top five dynasty TE rankings and he absolutely belongs there. Right now he would sit at number five in my dynasty rankings behind Kelce, Kittle, Waller, and Hockenson. With the recent trade that the Falcons made moving Julio Jones, I expect nothing but crazy volume for Pitts. I know, generally it takes around three years for a TE to really find his grove. But I don’t believe that will be the case for Kyle Pitts. I would say right now you will see Kyle Pitts end up with the second most targets on the pass heavy offense of the Atlanta Falcons. Right now in redraft leagues, Kyle Pitts is going around the back end of the 8th round. I would be perfectly fine taking a shot on him at that point. Pitts will be the only rookie TE that I would feel comfortable drafting in redraft leagues this season. He is an absolute stud and will be for many, many years so hopefully you paid up in your TE premium rookie drafts.
2. Pat Freiermuth– As most people assumed, Pat Freiermuth was the second tight end drafted this year. Freiermuth landed in a favorable spot with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He will be fighting Eric Ebron for snaps this season, but Ebron is a free agent after this year and Freiermuth will have every chance to be a starting TE next year. I was lucky enough to end up with a lot of shares of Freiermuth in my rookie drafts this off-season. I love his outlook in the future for dynasty leagues but don’t expect much production in the 2021 season. It will be interesting after this season for the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger will likely retire after this season so there is a lot of unknown with this team after this year. Freiermuth will have to earn the trust of Roethlisberger to see the ball this year with other pass catchers on the team such as Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, Eric Ebron and newly drafted RB Najee Harris. Freiermuth has good size and will be a red zone threat for this offense for years to come. But the only way he ends up on my roster this year is with an injury to Ebron. He is a great dynasty assets in TE premium leagues so hopefully you scooped up a couple shares in your dynasty league.
3. Hunter Long– In the third round of the NFL draft the Miami Dolphins decided to add some competition for Mike Gesicki and drafted Hunter Long out of Boston College. I grabbed a few shares of Long throughout my rookie drafts this off-season. I like the talent but was kind of surprised to see Miami take him that high in the draft. It makes you wonder if they plan on moving on from Mike Gesicki once his rookie contract is up. Most rookie TEs don’t bring much to the table in their first season. So there won’t be any reason to draft Hunter Long in redraft leagues. However, he is definitely worth of a roster spot in your dynasty leagues.
4. Tommy Tremble– Another TE that was drafted in the third round, was Tommy Tremble who was selected by the Carolina Panthers. It may be hard to believe but Tremble failed to score a single touchdown in his final year at Notre Dame. It makes you wonder how he was able to get drafted before a player like fellow rookie TE Brevin Jordan who fell to the 5th round. As of right now Tommy Tremble will be the 3rd string TE behind Dan Arnold, and Ian Thomas. Once again there won’t be any reason to roster Tremble in redraft leagues but is worth a stash in TE premium dynasty leagues.
5. Tre’ McKitty– It was a good thing to be a TE in the third round of the 2021 NFL draft. It sure seemed like the sweet spot for teams to go get their guy. Tre’ McKitty out of Georgia, ended up getting drafted by the Chargers in the third round. TE was a big need for the Chargers as they lost Hunter Henry via free agency. However, the Chargers did make an acquisition at TE after losing Henry by signing veteran Jared Cook. The Chargers offense might be one of the most exciting offenses this next season, which is good news for McKitty. He will be hard pressed to see the field a lot this year but with Cook being at the backend of his career, there could be a great opportunity for McKitty moving forward. McKitty is another guy that I like to grab in the 3rd round in rookie drafts.
6. Brevin Jordan– I couldn’t have an article about TEs and not talk about Brevin Jordan out of Miami. Prior to the draft Jordan was regarded as a top three TE in this draft class by most analyst. Then the NFL draft happened and he started to fall. Brevin Jordan dropped all the way down to the 5th round and was the 9th TE off the board! The athleticism is what people like about Jordan. He was very reminiscent of Giants TE Evan Engram. Who’s to say exactly why Brevin Jordan fell where he did, but all I know is, he is a great athlete and will have a ton of opportunity to carve out a role in the Texans offense. Unless he gets named the starter he won’t be drafted in redraft leagues. But Brevin Jordan was often times the 3rd TE drafted in rookie drafts. Now I’m not saying he is a world beater but keep an eye on Texans training camp and pre-season to see where he stands in the pecking order.