This is the time of year where I do a lot of spit-balling with potential draft picks of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Once the all-star games and combine have come and gone, I start to get a little more serious about just who the Steelers might select in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Today is one of those moments where I’m throwing something out there for you to consider. Despite the fact that tight end is not a top priority for the Steelers, I think Eric Ebron has to be taken seriously should he fall to the Steelers at selection number 15.
Just to be clear, I am NOT suggesting this at the current time. I am merely offering it as a talking point. That said, would it be such a poor pick?
Heath Miller will be entering his 10th NFL season in 2014 and it was apparent to me that he was not the same Heath Miller who we saw before the knee injury last year.
I’m not suggesting that Miller can’t return to form in 2014 but we must start thinking about his replacement sooner rather than later.
Current back-ups Matt Spaeth, David Paulson and Michael Palmer will do nothing to replace the value of Miller as both a blocker and pass catcher. Yes, Miller’s blocking fell off in 2013 but he is still substantially better than any of those mentioned in terms of an all-around tight end.
Ebron would be an impact player immediately on offense. He has been compared most often to San Francisco’s Vernon Davis as they are both big, athletic and can line up in a number of ways. His blocking will need to improve and his body could stand to add some muscle but his frame looks like it could carry that without issue.
If you think I’m advocating a multiple tight end system then stop right there because I’m not. Todd Haley has driven me nuts with his ‘heavy’ packages the last two years. What I am advocating is that if he is going to continue with this pattern then he should at least have tight ends one the field that are a threat.
Paulson, Spaeth etc. don’t scare anyone but Ebron would be a match-up nightmare for most defenses.
The Steelers have very strong needs for guys on the defensive line and in the secondary and I recognize this. I’m merely stating that the selection of Eric Ebron should he drop to 15, would be just fine with me should things unfold that way.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.