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Scott Brown of ESPN.com Answers My Draft Related Question

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

 

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.

 

 

 

Stats & Contract Info. Provided By: ESPN.comSteelers.comSpotrac and Pro Football Reference

Follow on Twitter: @DominicDiTolla and @NicePickCowherC

Topics: Espn, Pittsburgh Steelers, Scott Brown

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  • Craig

    Tight end is a huge need. Remember how bad the Steelers were across the middle and on 3rd down conversions when Miller was out with his injury? Cool that Brown answered your questions….. just don’t say ANYTHING about Penn State!

    • Dom DiTolla

      What people fail to realize is that there is no exit strategy after Miller. While I think he has another three solid years left in the tank, the Steelers need to add a new dimension to their offense with a field-stretching tight end who can compliment the veteran before he takes over for him.

      • Thumper833

        Yeah it’s a need but the holes on D are much more glaring. Any upgrade is ok with me but I will be much happier when I see them pick some DBs

        • Dom DiTolla

          The holes on defense might be more glaring, yet are the defensive players who are drafted going to see the field and help to fill those holes in year one like a wide receiver or tight end could for the ones on the offensive side of the ball?

          LeBeau’s still around, so I highly doubt that. Steelers are better off hedging their bets on offense so they can compete in shootout types of games next fall.

          • Thumper833

            I would be fine with Ebron But not picking Defensive players because they dont play right away is just kicking the can down the road. It needs to be done sooner rather than later. Offensive players are more likely to be plug and play. they can wait.I get your point about LeBeau, but on the other hand, this is the first time since the late 80s that we have seen such a lack of talent on D. I have a feeling the rookies will play, if just out of necessity.
            But anyway.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Enlighten me, how is drafting defensive players in the first, second and third rounds and having them rot on the bench for two to three years and 1/2 or more of their rookie deals not ‘kicking the can down the road?’

            Solid players can be found in rounds 4-7, and I’d rather them draft and develop those low-risk high-reward guys as opposed to wasting high round picks on players who should be, but aren’t, seeing the field.

            The defense is going to be bad this fall. Plus, keeping Ben in town should be a top priority so stacking the offense with as many weapons as possible should be a high priority. If they want to stay competitive in 2014, then they’d better average more than the 23.7 PPG they did in 2013.

          • Thumper833

            How? Draft players that can beat out the incumbents. Until the last couple years our vets have been top notch. No more. We have mediocre skill all over the secondary especially. Now I think rookies can play. No rotting on the bench for 2-3 years.

            As I said, an elite skill position player on offense or a tackle would be fine. But the longer you wait to draft defense the worse it’s going to be.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Well what will stop the FO from acquiring veterans the coaching staff likes in the fashion they did with Will Allen who played over Shark Thomas last year?

          • [email protected]

            Agreed. LeBeau no longer has the luxury of not playing younger talented players becuz his OLDER players are just not what they once were – complicated system or not. Defense is just too important, and clearly the lagging side of the ball for us right now. But I am warming to the idea of drafting a TE instead of a WR early in the draft to replace any WRs lost via free agency. Just so long as they draft D first.

          • Rikki Giaro

            Jarvis Jones got a lot of playing time, although it was due to injuries, but it does show why he should have been on the bench. Pittsburgh needs help now so finding plug and play players are much more a priority. That usually means offense, and why not build around your best player, Ben gives the Steelers the best chance to win. I don’t know what it is that Colbert has against tall wide outs , I sure would like to see Ben get his big target in the first round. If not in the first round , then perhaps Robinson in the second.

          • Dom DiTolla

            You forgot to mention how J. Jones and Vince Williams vastly improved last fall because they saw the field. They’d still be at square-one had they been forced to rot on the bench.

          • Rikki Giaro

            Jones had one sack, I don’t really consider that vast improvement, he would have been better off in the weight room. He needs to gain a lot of strength before he can take on NFL caliber tackles. Bell had a good season as a rookie, it is easier for offensive rookies to make an impact than defensive players, especially the way Pittsburgh does things. Pittsburgh needs impact players yesterday, and that is why I am in favor of one of those big WR’s this year.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Jones looked far more comfortable and disciplined when it came to playing against the run down the stretch last fall, and while his sack total was low, he definitely added more in the pressure department as the season wore on as well.

            I would rather see the Steelers take one of the top TE’s in this top-heavy class in Round 1 and then wait until Day 2 or Day 3 to take a tall WR. Don’t be shocked if they draft another 6′ or under guy though. Colbert & co. seem to like them.

          • Rikki Giaro

            I have used WR’s as my main focus , but a TE like Ebron would be just as good. The offense needs to diversify, so they are harder to defend.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Which is exactly why Ebron and Amaro should be on their radars. I’d rather roll the dice with J. Brown, Moye or late Day 2/early Day 3 tall receiver next fall and see if somebody steps up as opposed to ignoring the cream of the TE crop this May in Round 1.

          • [email protected]

            Rikki, I guess when a team has so many needs it’s hard to select in an area of low priority, so either O or D 1st rounder should only help. It seems that TEs are almost morphing into a type of WR – look how many of the TE prospects are touted as being able to line up either in line or split out wide. Drafting a stud TE would (at least in my mind) be akin to drafting Ben’s big wideout as a result; and may provide more scheme flexibility/matchup problems for the opponents D. Like you, I really like Robinson after seeing him at PSU, and although he’s not a burner, we already have smaller, faster receivers anyway. I would still like to see us address D first though – hard to argue that that is the weaker side of the ball right now.

          • Rikki Giaro

            I totally agree ,a TE like Ebron would create the kind of miss matches that would help the offense to score, just like a tall WR. After that defense does need to be addressed, who and what they draft for on the defensive side is really going to be decided by what veterans are going to stay. Kiesel might take a pay cut and stay on for depth, Taylor I’d like to see if he has enough left to shift to safety, and that would leave Clark as the odd man out. There are a few prospects other than Nix at NT , like Ryan Carrethers from Arkansas State. Pittsburgh could get him in later rounds and still have plenty of picks left for DB’s.

          • [email protected]

            Rikki, just to be clear I would prefer them to go D first, but I also realize that means we don’t get a talent like Ebron if we do that. There is a kid named Ellis that played at Louisiana Tech that is supposed to be a monster (like 350+ pounds) and pretty athletic – at least as athletic as a NT can be!!!! LOL!!!