Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Draft position needs: Tight end
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have nine picks in the 2014 NFL draft and this is the third in a series that looks at the nine positions they could address in less than two weeks. Keep in mind that the Steelers are likely to draft two cornerbacks so they may not take a player at every position covered in this series.
Skinny: It will be real interesting to see what happens if Eric Ebron slides to the middle of the first round and is still on the board when the Steelers pick at No. 15. The former North Carolina star is a suspect blocker but long gone are the days when many tight ends were not much more than glorified blockers. Ebron is part of a new wave of speedy, athletic tight ends who can create mismatches, and he could play right away as well as give the Steelers Heath Miller’s eventual successor. There are a couple of other top-shelf tight ends in the draft but there doesn’t appear to be a lot of depth at the position. The Steelers have four veteran tight ends already, but they could use an upgrade at the position. They hosted Rob Blanchflower of UMass for a pre-draft visit and he might be an option for the Steelers late in the draft.
Draft likelihood: Medium
Last TE drafted by the Steelers:David Paulson, seventh round in 2012
Last TE drafted by the Steelers in the first round: Miller, 2005
Last TE taken 15th overall in the draft:Derek Brown, Giants, 1992
TEs drafted under Kevin Colbert/Mike Tomlin: Three
TEs drafted under Colbert/Tomlin still with the Steelers: Two