Summer Scouting: 2021 NFL Draft Prospects

Eugene Holt
Football Enthusiast, Writer, Film Junkie.

Summertime is the best time to sit back, turn the AC up, and get a jump on the 2021 NFL Draft with some summer scouting. Assuming that we will have a college football season, I’m ready to pop on the tape and get a look at players to keep an eye on. It’s too early for me to do ranking and list song and dance, but I do have some absolutely random notes and thoughts on guys that stood out to me. Oh and I brought gifs too! Check it out:

 

Kyle Pitts – Tight End – Florida

First off, we have Kyle Pitts, the tight end from Florida. The first thing I noticed about him was his athleticism, speed, explosiveness, and fluidity. To sum it up, it’s really impressive considering that it’s packed into a 6’6 239 pound frame.

The first thing I noticed is how versatile he is and how Florida uses that to their advantage. Head coach Dan Mullen has Kyle Pitts lined up outside in a 3 by 1 set. He runs a solid slant route, makes the catch, and gets upfield for additional yardage.

Next, you see him as an inline blocker. Pitts has his hand in the dirt like a traditional old school tight end. He takes on the edge rusher and gets the job done. The play is nothing flashy, but he prevented his guy from being a factor on the play and didn’t give up ground.

Lastly, he’s once again up on the line of scrimmage, but this time he runs the shallow cross route and shows one of the things that make him special, which is his running ability. It’s a three to four yard gain at the catch point, but thanks to his athleticism, he’s able to get upfield for the first down.

 

Pat Freiermuth – Tight End – Penn State

Next up, we have Pat Freiermuth. He’s considered by many to be one of the top tight ends in the 2021 NFL Draft, specifically this summer. Similar to Pitts, he has a large frame standing at 6’5 and weighing in at 256 pounds. Freiermuth isn’t the crazy athletic type like Pitts, but he wins with a mixture of above average athleticism and with route running, for instance. Below, you will see his ability to compartmentalize the position and process things quickly, which is why I think he’s worthy of analyzing here.

The first play below shows his awareness of zone coverage. You’ll see him break off the route early and settle in the coverage gap. Take note of how aware he is of the first down marker, too.

On the next play, he’s coming off the line of scrimmage free as the defense blitz. Freiermuth gets turned around quickly, giving his quarterback a safety net on the outside to get the ball free.  Moreover, Freiermuth picks up some solid yardage after the catch.

 

Charlie Kolar – Tight End – Iowa State

Let’s stick with the tight end position as we continue on with our 2021 NFL Draft summer scouting notes. Next up is Charlie Kolar from Iowa State. Measuring in at 6’6 and 258 pounds, he can be an asset blocking and in the passing game.

With a frame as large as Kolar’s, he often wins with size and catch radius, as highlighted below. On the play below, Kolar displays solid route running as he cuts to the outside quickly. With the defender to his inside, the quarterback places the ball on Kolar’s outside shoulder. As mentioned above, one of Kolar’s biggest strengths is his catch radius. This ball is caught high and outside, away from his body. Efforts such as this highlight the versatility of Charlie Kolar and why he’s used in several key situations, such as in the redzone, for instance.

 

Patrick Jones – Defensive End – Pitt

Finally, let’s jump to the other side of the ball and take a look at a star defensive line talent, Patrick Jones of Pitt. Last season, he racked up 11.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and forced 4 fumbles.

In addition to those stats, he also possesses prototypical size at 6’5 and 260 pounds. Thanks to that large of a frame, he should be able to add muscle, which will be needed in the NFL.

One of the clips that stood out to me was in a game against Miami. Jones displays really good explosion off the line of scrimmage. He dips his shoulder into the left tackle, keeping his outside arm free. The offensive lineman was off-balance the entire rep and Jones was able to disrupt the pocket, forcing the quarterback to get rid of the ball before the play developed. 

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my debut for NFL Draft Lounge and my look into these four potential 2021 NFL Draft prospects. As always, be sure to follow us for more NFL Draft content. Additionally, you can always find us on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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