Sunday, February 10, 2013

Why Not a Tight End in the First Round?

Stanford TE Zach Ertz, going high.
Watching the success of the Baltimore Ravens' tandem of Dennis Pitta and Ed Hickson at tight end makes Joey Porters Pit Bulls wonder if it wouldn't make sense for the Steelers -- even with all their other needs -- to consider drafting Stanford tight end Zach Ertz (6'6", 252) with the team's No. 1 choice at No. 17 overall, especially considering the multiple serious knee injuries veteran tight end Heath Miller suffered at the end of the season.

Miller is one of the best tight ends in the NFL and teammates him as the Steelers' team MVP in 2012.

Like NFL tight ends Jimmy Graham of New Orleans and Antonio Gates of San Diego, both of whom are top-notch,Ertz played basketball in college. Unlike those two, however, Ertz actually played NCAA Division I football, and at such a high level of performance that he is considered one of the top two tight ends in this year's draft Not just a pass-catching receiver, Ertz is also reputed to be a strong blocker, a complete tight end, much like Pittsburgh's Heath Miller.

Nobody knows what Miller's recovery time will be, or if he will be the same player (a great one) when he returns. We'll learn more about Ertz and other draft prospects at the NFL Combine later this month.

This is not to write off Miler.  It's just to suggest that the it would nice, prudent and sensible for the Steelers to have a legitimate duo-threat at tight, like the Ravens (Pitta and Hickson), the 49ers (Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker) and the Patriots (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez).

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