Steelers rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth is enjoying a solid rookie season thus far. While the Penn State product has not been elite, he has been far more productive than most rookie tight ends at this stage in his career. With JuJu Smith-Schuster down for the season, his receiving prowess, especially on conversion downs, will be relied upon even more by Ben Roethlisberger and company.
However, the most impressive thing that Freiermuth has done so far this year is his actual catch percentage. It is not only spectacular for a rookie, but Freiermuth is one of the most sure-handed tight ends in the NFL. Among all receivers with fifteen or more targets, Freiermuth is second in the NFL in catch percentage. He has a 90% catch percentage and has caught 18 of his 20 targets. He is the only player in the NFL with more than 20 targets that has a catch percentage greater than 90%, according to Next Gen Stats.
Arizona’s Maxx Williams, who is out for the season, caught 16 of his 17 targets before his injury. The more impressive thing among these is that Freiermuth has the third least separation per target among the top-10 receivers in catch percentage this season. Freiermuth has an average of 3.1 yards of separation on his targets this season.
It is those types of stats that will instill confidence from the veteran quarterback early and often. Expect Freiermuth’s snap count to only grow, and he will likely fill the chain mover role that Smith-Schuster leaves behind.