Big Board Showdown TE Draft Strategy

Welcome to the Big Board Showdown! Seven Rounds. One Champion. We’re going to opening up leagues to everyone soon, but in the meantime we need to get prepped for the 2021 NFL Draft!

This year is going to look a little different than last year. The 2021 version of Big Board Showdown will feature a salary cap. You will have 259 💰 to spend on creating your roster of 12 players - 2 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 OL and 4 DEF.

This season, unlike last year, you can pick ANY player you would like …… so long as you fit all 12 players into your budget.

If you’re not familiar with some of the the 2021 Tight End prospects, don’t worry because we’re here to help.

The 2021 TE group is largely uninspiring except for the one at the top. But boy oh boy is he a star in the making.

The Unicorn

Kyle Pitts — Florida — Projected R1, P6

We have quite simply never seen a Tight End prospect like Kyle Pitts. He is likely the best Tight End draft prospect to ever enter the NFL Draft. He has it all: hands, size, speed, length, blocking ability, athleticism and a high football IQ.

No tight end has been taken in the top 5 of the NFL Draft since 1972. That could change as Pitts is in contention to be taken at No. 4 by the Atlanta Falcons and No. 5 by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ultimately, I think that Atlanta trades out of 4 to a team that needs a QB and Cincy ends up taking Ja’Marr Chase or Penei Sewell. But Pitts is worthy of being selected at those spots.

Here’s how valuable Pitts could be: If he were listed as a pure wide receiver in this draft class he would be either 1a or 1b with Chase. That is high praise. Pitts is the definition of a can’t miss prospect.

Player Comparison: Higher Ceiling Darren Waller

The Best of the Rest

Pat Freiermuth — Penn State — Projected R2, P1

Freiermuth is a prototypical inline tight end who should have a place on every single NFL roster. Rumor has it that the Jacksonville Jaguars are interested in him with their first pick in the second round. He would be a nice outlet/safety blanket for Trevor Lawrence.

The Penn State product is a good block and does everything well, but is not elite in any one area. Just a solid, all around tight end.

Player Comparison: Hunter Henry

Brevin Jordan — Miami — Projected R3, P3

Jordan is a prospect with a high ceiling. He didn’t test off the charts at his pro day, but plays much faster in real life. He has the sort of athletic traits that could lead to a very successful NFL career.

He is not a top notch blocker, but can block a little bit. He’s not as big or as long as most elite tight ends, which may limit his upside somewhat. Look for him to be selected in the third round of the NFL draft.

Player Comparison: Delanie Walker

Hunter Long — Boston College — Projected R3, P17

Long is a very dynamic, long receiver with an enormous catch radius. He’s not going to attack deep down the field and does not possess great speed. However, he is a red zone threat and will make tough catches.

Player Comparison: Jace Sternberger

Tommy Tremble — Notre Dame — Projected R3, P21

Tremble is an ELITE blocker for a tight end and actually may be one of the best run blockers in the entire 2021 class, including offensive lineman. That’s what makes him so valuable. He could end up as a fullback or H-back in the NFL.

The issue with Tremble is that while he possesses good speed and athletic traits, he’s a subpar route runner and not the most dynamic receiver. That will certainly limit his upside as a fantasy prospect.

Player Comparison: Kyle Juszczyk

Kenny Yeboah — Ole Miss — Projected R3, P34

Yeboah is an interesting prospect. He played at Temple where he was an elite inline blocker and had a somewhat limited role in the offense. However, at Ole Miss he was able to unleash some of his athletic abilities and really showed that he could be a dynamic receiver. He is great with the ball in his hands and can make guys miss in the open field.

He has some elite tools and could be the surprise of the 2021 TE draft class.

Player Comparison: Chris Herndon

Roster Fillers

If you choose to go without one of the top six tight ends and spend your budget elsewhere, here are some players you could target:

  • Jared Rice — Fresno State — Projected Round 4
  • Tre’ McKitty — Georgia — Projected Round 4
  • Ben Mason — Michigan — Projected Round 4
  • Jacob Harris — UCF — Projected Round 5
  • Noah Gray — Duke — Projected Round 5
  • John Bates — Boise State — Projected Round 6
  • Tony Poljan — Virginia — Projected Round 6
  • Matt Bushman — BYU — Projected Round 7
  • Briley Moore — Kansas State — Projected Round 7
  • Miller Forristall — Alabama — Projected Round 7