Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) gets tackled by Cincinnati Bearcats safety Arryn Chenault (25) during the third quarter in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports Latest Mock Has Pittsburgh Steelers Taking TE Eric Ebron

In his latest mock, Pat Kirwan of CBS has the Pittsburgh Steelers taking TE Eric Ebron from North Carolina.  It’s a change from his last mock, which had the Steelers nabbing DT Ra’shede Hageman.  As I claimed a ways back, Ebron would be a good pick by the Steelers, and I would not be shocked if Kirwan is correct with this pick.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina: The Steelers will not reach for a corner, though they could consider a defensive lineman like RaShede Hageman, but Ebron is a matchup problem for defenses and a guy who would take pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger.

With the addition of former Buffalo Bills FA Cam Thomas to the roster, the Steelers (for now), could be content with their defensive tackle needs for the time being.  Cam Thomas plugs a rather large hole left when the team did not bring back Big Snack and when no one on the 2013 roster stepped up into a dominant role at the NT position.  Is Thomas a Casey Hampton type player?  Not likely, but he is an upgrade from 2013, and that’s a step in the right direction.

Steeler Nation has heard all offseason the arguments from both sides of the ball as to what the greatest need is.  A selection like Ebron could satisfy several needs with just one phone call from the war room.  Ebron’s height and quick speed puts someone on the field that Ben Roethlisberger could utilize either down or across the middle.  His height could make him a good option for a TE fade to the corner of the end zone – or heck, just stand in the back of the end zone and jump over a safety to get the ball.  Ebron also serves the need of finding the heir to Heath Miller while providing a 1-2 punch in two TE sets that the Steelers missed when Matt Speath (shocker, I know) didn’t get the job done.

Of course, many are clamoring for the Steelers to take a tall and fast wide out.  It’s a deep draft this year, and the Steelers could find that wide out in later rounds.  Guys like Benjamin and Cooks will more than likely be off the boards by the time the 15th pick rolls around.  The Steelers will have a hard time trading up the board unless they give up a lot, and to trade down would potentially have them miss out on someone like Ebron – rumors have the Ravens also looking heavily at Ebron.

It wouldn’t be the sexiest of 1st round picks, but I think Ebron could make a huge impact early on for this offense that would turn into points on the scoreboard.  And that’s what exactly this team needs and is looking for.

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  • bk

    A TE that does not block is not going to sit well in Pitt. I have been studying the TE’s pretty closely the last couple weeks and I really don’t like any of them from a complete player perspective… Amaro is the best receiver, Fiedorowicz? is the best blocker…
    Niklaus is a big question mark as is Sefari Jenkins… Not sure i would take any of them
    in Rd 1.. I think you can do just as well getting Lynch in Rd 4 or Gilmore in Rd 5…

    • Dom DiTolla

      Heaven forbid this offense add a dimension it has lacked for years with an athletic tight end who can stretch the field.

      Adding Amaro or Ebron gives Roethlisberger not only a tall weapon, but a matchup nightmare for defenses in sub-package sets. Having a guy like that takes defenders out of the box, and also allows for nice situations to use backs like Bell & Blount on the ground.

      Adding a tight end to compliment Miller who can do his damage in the red zone and in the slot is exactly what this offense needs. Of course, the morons will clamor for two-down defensive linemen and linebackers who won’t see the field until year two.

      • Moneypenny76

        I agree with you. We need either a good tall WR or Ebron in round one. This offense is so close to being one of the best in the league…that’s really the only missing piece. They need to give Ben the weapons he needs.

        The defense can wait until round 2…they can have round 3 and most of the other picks as well. But the top priority has to be offense.

        • bk

          Have you watched Ebron on tape? I have.. he is gifted, but, does not dominate like he should.. He shys away from contact..
          If you want just a receiver Amaro is the way to go.

          • Dom DiTolla

            I actually like Amaro a bunch based on his ability to be a terrific factor in the passing game. Having Amaro, particularly lined up in the slot, would force defenses into sub-package personnel, and in turn open things up for Bell & Blount. In fact, Pittsburgh could probably trade down 5-10 spots, get Amaro (or potentially Kyle Fuller or Bradley Roby), and recoup a 3rd round pick or a future 2nd.

            Ebron shows a willingness to block on tape which Amaro does not, and his ceiling as a pass receiver is much higher.

            I personally don’t see the value of taking someone like Dennard or Gilbert at #15, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed. CB is the only defensive position I would like to see this team target in round one.

      • bk

        I have no issue adding a TE, I just don’t see the value with Ebron.
        Why take a chance in Rd 1 when there are other positions of need and
        surer things? Take one in rd 2 or 3 to lessen the impact if it’s a bust.

        • Dom DiTolla

          Well why not take a CB, DL, OLB or WR in later rounds to lessen the impact of the pick being a bust? CB class is stacked along with WR class, and the best DL in the class are 4-3 personnel suited.