The top 10 tight ends heading into 2021 NFL Draft

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The Post’s Ryan Dunleavy lists his top 10 tight ends in this year’s NFL draft, based on evaluations and conversations with people around the league:

  1. Kyle Pitts, Florida, 6-6, 245: Maybe the best tight end prospect of all time. Serviceable as a blocker, but at his best streaking down the seam and making contested catches. True matchup nightmare who could be a team’s top pass-catcher as a rookie.
  1. Pat Freiermuth, Penn State, 6-5, 251: Big drop-off from Pitts, but still an every-down in-line or slot tight end. Former basketball player can box out defenders and sky for the tough catch.
  1. Hunter Long, Boston College, 6-5, 254: Showed a knack for moving the sticks because he knows how to find space underneath for a scrambling quarterback. Functional blocker, but not much of a second-level receiving threat.
  1. Brevin Jordan, Miami, 6-3, 247: Former top recruit endured an injury-plagued career as a three-year starter. Just starting to learn the intricacies of route-running, but a tempting amount of raw athleticism.
  1. Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame, 6-3, 241: Best blocking tight end of the top five, as a result of playing in the shadow of Cole Kmet and future NFL tight end Michael Mayer. Play-action pass weapon who initiates contact.
  1. Tre’ McKitty, Georgia, 6-4, 246: Underutilized as a pass-catcher at both Florida State and Georgia, but showed an ability to beat linebackers and run through tackles. Knee injury kept him out of Georgia’s Pro Day.
  1. Kenny Yeboah, Ole Miss, 6-4, 247: Converted from wide receiver at Temple, but really blossomed after a transfer, with 19.4 yards per reception. Struggles to block power rushes.
  1. Tony Poljan, Virginia, 6-7, 265: Split time between quarterback and tight end for two years at Central Michigan before settling in and transferring. Emerging red-zone threat after six-touchdown season.
  1. Jacob Harris, UCF, 6-5, 219: Late-bloomer who discovered football in 2014, but didn’t catch a pass until 2019. Already 24 years old, so development needs to happen quickly. Maintains his soccer athleticism as a long-strider.
  1. John Bates, Boise State, 6-6, 256: Just two career touchdowns despite ideal size to be a red-zone target, but will block edge rushers. More than 500 career special teams snaps is a roster bonus.

Late Riser

Hunter Long, Boston College: Ran an unofficial 4.63 in the 40-yard dash to open eyes. Played in pro-style offense under veteran NFL coaches Jeff Hafley and Frank Cignetti.

Falling Fast

Pro Wells, TCU: Enticing athleticism, but kind of a one-trick pony as a red-zone threat. Academic concerns forced him to go to prep school and community college before TCU.

Small School Wonder

Zach Davidson, Central Missouri: Standout three-year punter who came from nowhere in 2019 with 40 catches for 894 yards and 15 touchdowns. Raw route-runner. Raw blocker. Raw, raw, raw.

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