NFL Network analytics expert Cynthia Frelund selected tight end Pat Freiermuth as the Steelers’ most underappreciated player.
Here’s how she came to that determination:
First, I calculated and then ranked each player’s season-long contribution metric by team (win share). To sum it up without getting overly technical, contribution metric, or win share, measures each player’s production during a season, in this case, the 2021 campaign. The metric encompasses a value for every snap by each player and reveals each player’s contribution to the team’s overall win total.
After making those calculations, I factored in each player’s salary by position (contract data via Over The Cap) to add some context around who was being “underappreciated.”
And here’s what Frelund had to say about Freiermuth:
My computer vision loves a versatile tight end, and that is exactly what Freiermuth was in 2021. Computer vision shows that his blocking win-share metric ranked fourth best among tight ends in the NFL last season. Per NGS, his +19.3 catch rate over expectation on tight-window throws was the highest among TEs. The 2021 second-rounder’s utility in the red zone was also tied for top three in the NFL, as he hauled in all seven of his touchdowns in this area.
Freiermuth was selected by the Steelers with the No. 55 overall pick (second round) in the 2021 NFL Draft.
The former Penn State standout had a solid rookie season, catching 60 passes for 497 yards and seven touchdowns. At first glance, those are modest numbers. But that’s impressive production from a rookie tight end.
Freiermuth certainly fits the description of underappreciated, considering most NFL fans have likely never even heard of him, though that could soon be changing…
Featured image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports