Pat Freiermuth Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Dangerous run-after-the-catch potential
Blasts through contact as a runner
Tough to tackle
Runs over defensive backs
Picks up yards after contact
Strong stiff arm
Good height, build
Nice feel as a receiver
Developed ball-adjustment skills
Quick enough to get down the seam
Works the seam well
High points the ball well
Dangerous on contested catches
Willing to go across the middle
Effective as an underneath receiver
Size mismatch versus safeties
Presents a big target
Has the frame to be a blocker
Three-down starting potential
Lacks elite speed
Decent, but not a great, athlete
Needs to improve as a blocker
Not overly physical as a blocker
Summary: Despite inconsistent quarterback play, Freiermuth proved to be a reliable receiver and red-zone weapon for Penn State. He put together a quality freshman year by catching 26 passes for 368 yards and eight touchdowns. His sophomore season was his best, and saw him total 43 receptions for 507 yard and seven scores. In 2020, Freiermuth was limited to four games before going down with a season-ending injury. He had 23 catches for 310 yards and a touchdown for his year.
As a receiver, Freiermuth has the potential to be a contributor to a NFL passing attack, but he lacks elite speed to separate or twitchy athleticism. He can contribute by finding soft spots in zone coverage and making catches over defenders, but he will struggle to create separation from man coverage against pro safeties and linebackers.
Freiermuth possesses mismatch size and is very adept at going up to make contested catches over defenders. He high points the ball well, and has strong hands to control the ball while getting hit. Freiermuth shows a nose for the end zone and should be an asset in the red zone, where he was very good at producing touchdowns in college.
Perhaps Freiermuth's most distinctive positive trait is his physicality as a runner after the catch. He is vicious with the ball in his hands and will really punish defensive backs downfield. Freiermuth has good size amd a strong build that let him flat out run over defenders, and he also features a powerful stiff arm to push tacklers away. Freiermuth is dangerous after the catch and provide some energy to his team via his intimidating runs through secondaries.
On top of good hands, Freiermuth is a quality route runner who knows how to find the soft spots in zone. Freiermuth is adept at getting open running down the seam, on crossing routes, and underneath. While Freiermuth does not have elite speed or athleticism, he is effective.
Freiermuth has room for improvement as a blocker for the NFL, but the skill set is there for him to grow into a good blocker in time. He has the size to be effective, but he needs to become more physical and show more strength to engage defenders off the defenders. Pro coaching could help him improve his technique and definitely could employ the motivational tools for Freiermuth to get a more aggressive demeanor. Becoming a solid blocker is critical for Freiermuth to carve out a role as a three-down starter because his receiving skills aren't enough to do it on their own.
In the 2021 NFL Draft, Freiermuth could go as high as the second round and probably won't go lower than the third round. He has the ability to develop into a three-down starter at the next level.
Player Comparison: Zach Ertz. Freiermuth's style of play reminds me of Ertz coming out of Stanford. Both were receiving weapons with the ability to contribute as blockers. They are almost identical in size, and Ertz (6-5, 250) turned into a good three-down starter. Ertz was a second-round pick in 2013, and Freiermuth could go in the same round in the 2021 NFL Draft.