Who Is This Year’s Dark Horse for the Steelers?

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Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish tight end Tyler Eifert (80) catches a pass defended by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Dee Milliner (28) during the first half of the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Credit: Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, it was David DeCastro. Leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft, not many analysts had DeCastro getting out of the top 15, much less the top 20. When the Steelers drafted David DeCastro with the 24th pick, the Steelers, as well as their fans were overjoyed. David DeCastro was not supposed to be a Pittsburgh Steeler, but he is. Another man who isn’t supposed to be a Pittsburgh Steeler: Tyler Eifert. You will see numerous mocks that have the Steelers drafting Jarvis Jones, who is like the Donta Hightower last off-season. Most draft analysts thought Donta Hightower would be a Pittsburgh Steeler, which honestly would have been a great pick. The Steelers instead took DeCastro, who was a top 10 talent. Many teams passed on him mainly for one factor, his position. As the NFL has turned into more of a passing league, a nasty run blocking guard like DeCastro is undervalued. Like the guard position, tight ends are usually undervalued as well. If you ask most fans of teams picking in the top 20, drafting Tyler Eifert before pick 20 is “a reach.” On Mike Mayock’s (NFL Network) draft board, Tyler Eifert is one of the most well rounded prospects in this draft at 13 overall. Even when his team struggled against Alabama in the BCS Championship game, the former tight end of Notre Dame still had a solid showing. It says something to me when the top defense in the nation put their best defensive player, Dee Milliner, on Eifert the whole game. Against Milliner, Eifert came down with 6 impressive receptions against the talented corner. Throughout the season, Eifert showed countless times where he would make impossible catches, beating whoever tried to get in his way. He is physical, has incredible hands, and is too fast for linebackers to cover. Not that it matters that much what he ran at the combine, but it is still notable that he ran a 4.68, a very solid number for a man of his size and stature.

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Tags: Heath Miller NFL Draft 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers Tyler Eifert

  • richard

    The Steelers need more playmakers on offense, I would prefer a wide out like Patterson since he also returns punts. Eifert is a playmaker at tight end so I would be happy with him as the Steelers first round pick.

  • Dom DiTolla

    I said most of the same things on Saturday about Eifert except instead of “dark horse” I used the phrase “wild card” to refer to him as an option in Round 1.

  • Mike Nichols

    I actually wonder what might happen if a guy like Warmack were to fall to 17. True, we used a first rounder on a guard last year and there’s much bigger needs elsewhere, but many have him rated as the best player in the entire draft. Would Colbert and Co decide the value is just too great and take him? That O-line would be sick.
    Agree that Eifert is a very likely candidate, as well.