At the tight end position in the 2021 NFL Draft pool, there is a clear front runner for the top-billed player at the position: Florida TE Kyle Pitts. Having seen what he is capable of last year in Florida’s offense as a pass catcher, it’s not hard to see why teams are lining up to make him their first-round pick, even if his skills match more of a pass catcher than a true dual-threat NFL tight end.
That being said, the fight for the second tight end taken will be interesting to watch. Pro Football Focus has Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth as their second-ranked tight end, with Brevin Jordan third, BC’s Hunter Long fourth, and UVa’s Tony Poljan fifth. CBS Sports has the same top three. The Draft Network also has the same top three, with Jordan checking in as their 36-best overall prospect. Walter Football has Jordan second and Freiermuth third, with Jordan a projected second or third round pick.
So, the pundits seem to think Jordan is going to be a Friday pick, likely slightly behind or ahead of Friermuth.
One contributor for NFL Network goes a step further and thinks Jordan is the best all-around tight end in the draft. Ben Fennell notes Jordan’s versatile blocking ability as contributing to his opinion that he’s the best tight end prospect in the draft.
TE Brevin Jordan was asked to block DEs throughout his career at Miami - he is MUCH better blocking prospect than we think— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 13, 2021
Whether 1-on-1 pass pro, sealing DE in run game, or whamming a NT - Jordan is willing & capable!
He is best ‘all-around’ TE in this 2021 NFL Draft class pic.twitter.com/QulYjZ0s9Y
He also notes what all of us already knew.
Works the middle of the field like a monster... pic.twitter.com/Gq8aAOPU9R— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 13, 2021
If you dare challenge that Pitts will be the best tight end in the draft now, every Gator fan in your mentions - and many alleged draft “experts” - will hop out of the woodwork to call you either foolish, uneducated, or a homer. That all being said, I think you can be an outstanding tight end and contribute in different ways, and how you fit into a system is key as well. Pitts’ skills in the passing game translate well on any team. He’s a special combination of size and natural ability as a receiver. That doesn’t grow on trees, everyone knows. I think Jordan’s skills translate well to many different offenses, as well...at least better than he’s getting credit for. Where I think these players differ is in what Jordan’s blocking skills bring to play action and misdirection. I think that, despite his injury issues, he’s shown himself to be a physical player who’s more than willing to engage bigger defenders and effectively block them when asked to. He can be a major asset in the play-action passing game, and will still be a matchup problem on linebackers and many safeties, so the middle-of-the-field mentions are warranted - he’ll still be a problem there.
Will a team see him a enough of a problem to make him the second tight end off the board in April? Whoever does will be getting perhaps the most complete players at the position at a premium draft position (into the third round). I remember watching Jason Witten fall on draft day in 2003. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, knowing what an unbelievably dynamic and productive player he was a Tennessee. Finally, Dallas took him in the third round, and it was one of the best value draft picks the Cowboys pulled off in their past two decades.
Jordan just feels different from Miami tight ends in recent years. Several new Pro Cane tight ends over the past decade have stuck around in the NFL (Clive Walford, Chris Herndon, David Njoku, etc.), but they haven’t been other level (at least yet). I feel like Jordan is better than those players were when they left, and I think he has a chance to become Miami’s next great tight end since Jimmy Graham.
It is, of course, still very early in the process. The combine and pro days are still to come and will add opportunities for players to add to their draft stock, or the opposite. Opinions and boards will change, both among teams and pundits.
That all being said, if Jordan does end up going in the second or third round, I have a feeling a team is going to be getting a huge bargain.