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Pittsburgh Steelers waive TE Bucky Hodges, making the need for a TE greater

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The Pittsburgh Steelers waived Bucky Hodges, who spent last season on the team’s practice squad.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In somewhat of a surprising move, the Pittsburgh Steelers have waived tight end Bucky Hodges from their offseason roster.

The move is surprising solely for the reason many had high hopes for Hodges as a potential depth player at a position of need.

Since the Steelers lost Jesse James to the Detroit Lions via free agency, the Steelers were left with Xavier Grimble, Vance McDonald and Hodges among a couple others rounded out the team’s depth chart at the tight end position. Needless to say, Grimble and McDonald were the only two with NFL regular season experience with the Steelers.

After Hodges’ release, it only intensifies the Steelers’ need to draft a tight end in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. With rumors of them potentially wanting to trade up in the draft, could they shock the fan base by trading up to select a player like Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson? Or possibly wait until pick No. 20 and take Iowa’s other big tight end Noah Fant?

At this point all options are on the table, and it makes the upcoming draft even more intriguing, and nerve racking. Once the Steelers signed Steven Nelson, Mark Barron and Donte Moncrief via free agency, their immediate needs turned into great wants. With Hodges off the depth chart it eliminates another player who could be viewed as an “answer” at the position.

In other words, get your popcorn ready for tonight, because anything will be possible with the Steelers in the early rounds of the draft.