Scott Brown of ESPN.com asked people to send him NFL Draft related questions via Twitter. Since I was curious as to why so many people in Steeler Nation were opposed to the notion of the team selecting a tight end with their first round pick, I asked Brown the following question:
Much to my surprise, Brown not only answered my question, he answered it in a recent column on ESPN.com:
That is a great point, Dominic, and I’ve warmed to the idea of the Steelers taking a tight end in the first round of the draft. The Steelers still have time to find Heath Miller’s successor as I think he still has at least four good seasons left in him and will likely be signed to a new deal during the offseason. But if you look at the success teams around the NFL have had exploiting mismatches with a dynamic, pass-catching tight ends [sic] the Steelers should consider taking a player if he fits that profile at No. 15. And two-tight end sets are so common now that it is not like that player would have to wait patiently behind Miller, and a speedy, pass-catching tight end would add another dimension to the position as you mentioned.
Like most of the fanbase, I understand that the franchise is in desperate need of defense. However, I am happy to see that people like Brown and myself see the type of value that an athletic tight end can bring to Pittsburgh’s roster. The cupboard is bare behind Heath Miller at the moment. So while I agree with Brown that Miller has more productive seasons left in him, his replacement and an adequate compliment must be found through the draft process.
Pittsburgh’s offense has the potential to be an even more dynamic force with someone like Eric Ebron of North Carolina on their roster, and the matchup issues he could create for his other talented teammates would definitely give opposing defenses cause for concern.
If the Steelers’ brass decide to go defense in round one, then I will not necessarily be upset. I just hope that they are aware of how much better their offense could be with a dynamic tight end added to the mix.