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Rookie tight ends with upside their first NFL season

Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts is the biggest name in this category.

Kyle Pitts poses onstage after being selected fourth by the Atlanta Falcons during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kyle Pitts poses onstage after being selected fourth by the Atlanta Falcons during round one of the 2021 NFL Draft at the Great Lakes Science Center on April 29, 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Rookie tight ends usually don’t get thrown into featured roles, but Kyle Pitts is different. The Florida product was taken fourth overall by the Atlanta Falcons and is expected to be a big part of that offense. Elsewhere, second-round pick Pat Freiermuth joins the Pittsburgh Steelers and could break into that offense.

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Pitts is currently listed as the backup to Hayden Hurst on the depth chart, but the Falcons aren’t fooling anyone. You don’t take a tight end with the No. 4 pick in a make-or-break year for your quarterback and bench him. Pitts is a physical specimen who destroyed defenses at Florida. He will be a red zone threat immediately and eventually could become one of the top tight ends in the league.

Pat Freiermuth, Pittsburgh Steelers

Freiermuth is behind Eric Ebron on the depth chart, but the starter has had injury concerns in the past. The Steelers have a lot of weapons offensively, so there might not be too many targets early in the season. However, if Ebron struggles, Freiermuth could see an expanded role. The Steelers have high hopes for him going forward and should get him involved enough to merit fantasy consideration late in the year.

Tommy Tremble, Carolina Panthers

Tremble didn’t exactly light up the stat sheet at Notre Dame, but this is more about Carolina’s depth chart. Ian Thomas and Dan Arnold are not superstar tight ends by any means, so Tremble has a chance to eventually break into the starting lineup if both struggle. The Panthers should have a dynamic offense and Tremble will get minimal attention from defenses, helping his cause. Don’t expect a massive campaign, but Tremble could be a late season play.