I did a little digging today to see what kind of prospects might be out there for a #2 tight end to replace Spaeth. Although his blocking was better this year than in the past, he's maybe made it to an average blocker in his time with the team. The #2 tight end should have decent height and heft to block on the line. I'm looking for a player in the mold of Tuman or Breuner. Improving the play of the blocking TE will help in the run game and in pass protection as well. Breuner, incidentally is apparently a part time scout for the Steelers these days. There are a couple of "complete package" early round guys in Rudolph and Stocker. I'm passing them over here as clearly we have more pressing needs in the first two days of the draft.
- Charlie Gantt Michigan St. 6-4 252lb In addition to excellent blocking skills has good hands. Showed strength with 27 reps benching at the combine. Approx 6th round prospect.
- Andre Smith Virginia Tech 6-5 270lb post on him Devastating blocker and a play maker on offense reportedly performed well in Texas v. Nation game. Probably the most complete TE on my list. Snubbed by lack of combine invite. 5th - 6th round prospect.
- Lee Smith Marshall 6-5 266lb Dominant blocker who also caught 38 balls last year. Agressive with a mean streak. Fairly smart,posting 3.21 GPA in double major. 25 reps on the bench at the combine. Might be considered as an OL prospect if he bulks up a bit. Kicked off of Tennesee Roster for DUI. A bit older (23) with wife and 2 kids. 6th - 7th round prospect
- Richard Gordon Miami (FL) 6-4 265lb Blocking TE in college with some polish as a blocker. Limited use as a receiver. Some experience as a KR. 6th rounder.
- Konrad Reuland Stanford 6-6, 267lb - I can't find much on this guy but he certainly has the size. former 5 star recruit who transfered from Notre Dame. Honorable mention Pac-10. Pro-Day coming up 3/17. Expected to go undrafted.
- Julius Thomas Portland St. 6-5 254lb - Former Basketball player. A bit of a project as he needs some strengthening and blocking technique work. (16 reps at the bench). Has some significant offensive potential with more speed and athletecism 4.68 40 time, good numbers on cone drill. Probably drafted in 3rd or 4th round which is poor value for the Steelers.
- Lance Kendricks Wisconsin 6-3 243 lb Well rounded TE. Only average Blocker. Above average as a receiver. Size is more well suited to H-back. Probably drafted in the 3rd for his offensive skills.
- Zach Pinalto North Carolina 6-3 256lb Hardworking, tenacious player. Needs to work on inline blocking. Significant injury history. Height and arm length (33") smaller than ideal. Good cone drill time. 6th-7th rounder
- Kyle Adams Purdue 6-5 250lb More of an offensive weapon than a blocker. Team captain with good hands. Has good length but needs to bulk up. Only 32.5" arms but 10.75" hands from combine. Closest to shortest arms but biggest hands!. 7th rounder
- Weslye Saunders South Carolina 6-5 273lb Has elite physical tools to block and catch. Disciplined for missing meetings then kicked off team. Seems like a born Bengal. Was thought of as a 3rd rounder at one point
- Rob Hoosler FLA Atlantic 6-5 248 Good offensive weapon. Good size, speed and hands. Lacks blocking strength to block effectively. A project at best as a blocker. 4th round prospect.
- Schuyler Oordt N. Iowa 6-6 261 Fast player with good size. Interesting offensive weapon but needs work as a blocker. WIth his lanky frame could be the second coming of Spaeth. Expected 6th-7th round. I hope he ends up being good so fans somewhere can yell OOOOORDT! on Sundays.
- Jordan Cameron USC 6-5 254 Former Basketball player. At or near the top marks in 40 time, Vert jump, Cone drill. Needs a lot of work at blocking. 4th - 5th rounder