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Will Vance McDonald take a back seat to Eric Ebron?

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Moving along to part 56 of our 90-part series — assuming the roster does not change before we are complete — which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Let’s dive in on Steelers tight-end:

Vance McDonald

Position: TE
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 267 lbs
College: Rice
Draft: 2nd Round, 55 Overall in 2013 (49ers)

2019 stats

14 Games Played
38 Receptions
273 Yards
3 Touchdowns
1 Rushing Attempt
2 Rushing yards

Contract remaining

Expires in 2022
$3,827,500 salary cap number (1.91% of total cap)
$2,727,500 Dead money
$1,100,000 Savings if cut

Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. While Eric Ebron projects to receive the bulk of the tight end targets, Vance McDonald is still a capable player who will be feature in this offense. The big tight end won't be the Steelers number one tight end for the first time since joining the steelers in 2017, but with Ebron in the fold he might see more favorable matchups.

2020 projection

With a decrease in targets on the horizon, McDonald might make it through 16 games for the first time in his Steelers career. Even though he looks to be playing in a smaller role, the combinations of better matchups and less wear and tear on his body should see the ‘Vanimal’ continue with his career averages.

Projected stats:

16 Games Played
33 Receptions
396 Yards
3 Touchdowns


Vance McDonald has been an interesting player over his three seasons in Pittsburgh. He’s typically been a role player at tight end but has made some mind-blowing play. With his 2021 cap hit jumping up to over $7 million it could be McDonald’s last season in Pittsburgh if they can't work out an extension.

The combo of Eric Ebron and Vance will mark for one of the more dominating tight end depth charts in team history, and if they can stay healthy the duo could push the Steelers offense back into prominence.

Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy
Zach Banner
J.T. Barrett
John Battle
Jordan Berry
Saeed Blacknall
Breon Borders
Chris Boswell
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Isaiah Buggs
Devin Bush
Deon Cain
Kam Canaday
Chase Claypool
Josiah Coatney
James Conner
Anthony Coyle
Jordan Dangerfield
Amara Darboh
Carlos Davis
David DeCastro
Christian DiLauro
Kevin Dotson
Bud Dupree
Eric Ebron
Terrell Edmunds
Trey Edmunds
Matt Feiler
Minkah Fitzpatrick
Zach Gentry
Ulysees Gilbert III
Derwin Gray
Joe Haden
J.C. Hassenauer
Quadree Henderson
Dewayne Hendrix
Cam Heyward
Alex Highsmith
Mike Hilton
Devlin Hodges
John Houston
Anthony Johnson
Diontae Johnson
Jarron Jones
John Keenoy
Tyree Kinnel
Christian Kuntz
Justin Layne
Leo Lewis
James Lockhart
Paxton Lynch
Dan McCullers