Former Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth was drafted No. 55 overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday evening, giving the Nittany Lions a third draft selection in the opening two rounds of the NFL Draft.
Freiermuth heads to Pittsburgh after a three-year career at Penn State. He is the second Penn State tight end to be drafted by the Steelers in recent years following in the footsteps of former Nittany Lion star Jesse James, who was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.
The newly minted Steeler sat out most of Penn State’s 2020 season following shoulder surgery, but still managed 23 receptions. In 2019 Freiermuth hauled in 43 receptions for seven touchdowns to follow up an eight touchdown freshman campaign in 2018.
Prior to injury, Freiermuth was generally considered to be among the best tight ends in the nation. He is the second tight end selected in the draft following Kyle Pitts, who was picked No. 4 overall by the Atlanta Falcons. Freiermuth did not participate in the program’s Pro Day – still recovering from his surgery at the time.
Freiermuth joins Micah Parsons and Odafe Jayson Oweh as the third Nittany Lion picked so far this draft. Parsons went No. 12 overall to the Dallas Cowboys while Oweh went later in the first round, No. 31 overall to the Baltimore Ravens.
In turn, Friday’s selection also marks the first time since 2010 that Penn State has had a player selected in the first and second round of the same draft and the first time since 2003 that the program had multiple players tabbed in the first round. Freiermuth is the first Nittany Lion tight end drafted since Mike Gesicki was taken in the second round of the 2018 draft. Gesicki was taken No. 42 overall by the Miami Dolphins.
Kyle Brady is the highest NFL bound Penn State tight end, drafted No. 9 overall by the New York Jets in 1995.