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:
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 267 lbs
Draft: 2nd Round, 55 Overall in 2013 (49ers)
14 Games Played
1 Rushing Attempt
2 Rushing yards
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.
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.
16 Games Played
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.
Antoine Brooks Jr.
Ulysees Gilbert III