Pat Freiermuth Poised To Make Immediate Impact In Pittsburgh Steelers’ Offense
Former Penn State football tight end Pat Freiermuth had his NFL dreams come true Friday night when the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him with the No. 55 overall pick.
As if the moment couldn’t get any better, Penn State and Steelers legend Franco Harris announced the pick.
“I’m just excited to be a Pittsburgh Steeler,” Freiermuth said in his post-draft media availability. “I really don’t care what happened in the draft before this process. You’re gonna get a guy who comes in every single day and works his tail off.”
The big tight end will immediately step into a talented offense led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Freiermuth has the chance to form a dynamic duo with fellow tight end Eric Ebron, who had 56 catches and five touchdowns last season. Freiermuth is pumped at the prospect of playing alongside Ebron.
“I’m excited to learn from Eric Ebron,” Freiermuth said. “Obviously he’s a vet….I’m excited to go out there and pick his brain and learn from him. I can’t wait to be a part of this organization.”
While Ebron’s presence might prevent Freiermuth from being the No. 1 tight end immediately, his positional flexibility and all-around ability will allow him to see the field early on in his NFL career.
“He’s gonna be kind of a throwback tight end,” Steelers tight end coach Alfredo Roberts said. “His positional flexibility is gonna allow us to do a lot of different things and a lot of different sets with the guys we got here.”
Roberts added that Freiermuth is going to do some of the “heavy lifting” early on and has plenty of room to grow going forward. The tight ends coach said Freiermuth is “a lot more accomplished than a project,” meaning his body of work is a sign he can contribute right away.
“I think his ability to get downfield is better than average,” Roberts said. “He’s shown that on some of his college tape and early years…He really catches the ball with ease and does some things nice after the catch.”
At the end of the day, Freiermuth is taking a team-first mentality with his new squad and is willing to do whatever it takes to make a positive impact.
“I just see myself going out there and doing whatever is asked of me,” Freiermuth said. “So like I said, they tell me to go in and block the whole game, I’m gonna do that.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this offense,” Freiermuth continued.
With all the uncertainly surrounding the Big Ten’s 2020 football season, Freiermuth had a tough decision to make in regards to whether he’d opt out. Ultimately, he stayed put and played four games before going down with season-ending shoulder surgery.
The pass-catcher totaled 23 receptions worth 310 yards and a touchdown in his abbreviated 2020 campaign. Despite suffering the injury, the Massachusetts native has no regrets about playing, and said he even learned a lot from it from an adversity standpoint.
“First of all, I wanted to play this past season because I love Penn State,” Freiermuth said. “I owe that university more than it owes me. Any chance I get to go out and put that Penn State jersey on, I’m gonna do it.”
Naturally, Freiermuth’s former head coach James Franklin had nothing but good things to say about him after getting drafted. Franklin said that Freiermuth is a guy “who loves to play the game of football.”
“Pat is a coach’s dream and we expect him to bring immediate value to the Steelers,” Franklin said. “He will go down as one of the best tight ends in Penn State history and will be a dominant red zone threat in the NFL.”
Pat Freiermuth, you are not only a complete football player, but most importantly, you’re a complete person!” Franklin said. “We couldn’t be happier for you & your family! Continue to trust the process & I look forward to supporting your success with the @Steelers! Always a phone call away!”
Pat Freiermuth, you are not only a complete football player, but most importantly, you’re a complete person! We couldn’t be happier for you & your family! Continue to trust the process & I look forward to supporting your success with the @Steelers! Always a phone call away! pic.twitter.com/NH4sCFmU3Q— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) May 1, 2021
Additionally, new Penn State tight ends coach and last year’s offensive analyst Ty Howle praised Freiermuth in a statement after the Steelers made the pick.
“Pat is the epitome of an ace, excelling in the game of football in all phases, as a pass catcher, run blocker and protector,” Howle said. “He has a tremendous football IQ and takes pride in his personal development on and off the field.”
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