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2019 NFL Draft Grades: Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers 5th round pick Zach Gentry

With the 141st pick of the 2019 NFL Draft the Pittsburgh Steelers select Michigan TE Zach Gentry

NCAA Football: Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are evidently creatures of habit who resist change. I am basing this theory on the Steelers draft picks thus far. The Steelers organization has grown accustomed to seeing familiar body type walking around the hallowed hallways of Steelers headquarters. That is the only rational explanation I can fathom for a couple of these picks beyond coincidence.

First the Steelers select Diontae Johnson in the third round, who could play Antonio Brown's body double if AB ever decides to take up acting on the silver stage and screen. Now the Steelers turn around in the fifth round and select the clone of recently departed TE Jesse 'The Outlaw' James, now a Detroit Lions employee. I guess absence really does make the heart grow stronger.

I jest, but Pittsburgh Steelers fifth round selection Zach Gentry really does remind me of Jesse James. The are both quite tall, with Gentry topping out at 6'8" and 265lbs. Both men resemble a baby giraffe when they turn to run after the catch due to their extremely long torsos. Gentry tested poorly at the combine. He ran a pedestrian 4.9 40 and only achieved 12 reps in the bench press, so obviously he needs work on his playing strength. Players with extremely long arms are always at a disadvantage on the bench press, but Gentry's lack of overall strength really shows in his blocking.

The good news for Zach Gentry is the fact he is a young man who is new to the position. A former high school quarterback who didn't transition to tight end till he arrived at Michigan, he is still learning the idiosyncrasies of the position. The Steelers are attracted to underclassmen because it gives them more time to grow and develop in their system. Mission accomplished with the Zach Gentry selection, and he is going to need the Steelers to be patient.

Gentry was projected to be a late round selection to a priority free agent, so this pick feels a little like a reach. Gentry may eventually prove to be a adequate replacement for James on the field, not just in the team picture. Only time will tell and thankfully he is a underclassman. But is that the goal with a fifth round selection? Does that represent good draft value?

For that reason I must give the Zach Gentry selection a grade of C.

What overall grade do you give this selection? Please vote in the attached poll and explain why in the comments section below.

Welcome to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Zach Gentry! From all of us at Steelers Nation!


What overall grade do you give the Pittsburgh Steelers fifth round selection?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    A = Excellent selection
    (57 votes)
  • 12%
    B = Above average selection
    (160 votes)
  • 33%
    C = Solid pick
    (432 votes)
  • 41%
    D = Below average selection
    (544 votes)
  • 8%
    F = Terrible selection
    (111 votes)
1304 votes total Vote Now