Former NFL exec Bill Polian warns Steelers to steer clear of Eric Ebron

Jed Jacobsohn

In response to a dual mock draft conducted by ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, former Colts general manager Bill Polian denounces McShay's selection of Eric Ebron with the 15th pick.

Many Steelers fans will be happy to see ESPN Steelers writer Scott Brown get a second opinion of sorts on the dual mock draft done by Mel Kiper and Todd McShay Thursday.

McShay drafted for the Steelers, selecting North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. Former Colts general manager Bill Polian didn't hold back on his negative assessment of the pick, as quoted by Brown:

"He's a Pittsburgh Steeler and he doesn't block. That doesn't compute," Polian, a six-time NFL Executive of the Year, said of Ebron. "I don't think he's ready to play in the NFL right now. I think he's too immature. I don't think his feet are firmly planted on the ground. Yeah, he has ability but that only gets you so far."

Ebron is more of a vanity pick for the Steelers in this instance. Polian's right, he's immature but from a physical sense. He's not a polished route-runner and he's not going to be able to block in-line immediately. The Steelers would be less of an offense with him on the field at least through his rookie season.

So why take him at 15? Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert is on the board in their mock, and while much of the same could be said for Gilbert, he's more pro-ready now than Ebron is. Virginia Tech CB Kyle Fuller is also available, and he could legitimately compete for sub package snaps his rookie season.

Polian's reaction isn't the end-all of evaluations, and certainly, neither is ours (there are positive aspects of Ebron's game and we think he'll develop into a good player with the right coaching). But the Steelers are not in a position to take a developmental pick. Should the draft fall in a similar manner to what McShay and Kiper dictated, it's really open-ended what the Steelers will do with that pick, but Ebron likely won't be, and probably shouldn't be, the pick.

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