clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ranking every Pittsburgh Steelers tight end since Heath Miller

The Steelers still haven’t been able to match Heath Miller’s production at tight end but still have featured contributors

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers

Since Heath Miller retired back in 2015 the Steelers have struggled to find a true number 1 tight end. The organization hopes they finally found that player in Eric Ebron but only time will tell. But who were the guys to carry the torch the past five seasons and who was the best? Today we will rank them, so without further adieu I present you my list:

*Note this list will only feature players that have a least one career reception

7. Zach Gentry

1 Reception, 4 yards

Pittsburgh Steelers v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

The youngest player on this list spent most of his rookie season as a healthy scratch or on the bench. The 6’ 8” Gentry still has a lot to prove to remain in the NFL, but his one reception earns him a spot on this list.

6. David Johnson

7 Receptions, 80 yards

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

David Johnson was not a traditional tight end, during one of his stints in Pittsburgh Johnson was primarily used as a fullback however he still caught a couple passes as a depth tight end.

5. Nick Vannett

13 Receptions, 138 yards

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Nick Vannett is one of those rare players that the Steelers absolutely whiffed on. Rumors that Kevin Colbert had been prying Vannett away from the Seahawks for years swirled when the Steelers dealt their 5th round draft pick to acquire Will Dissly’s and Jacob Hollisters’ backup. Vannett never really produced much in 13 games in Pittsburgh. When Vannett signed with the Denver Broncos this past offseason he ripped the Steelers organization saying his time in Pittsburgh was ‘Unpleasant’

4. Xavier Grimble

23 Receptions, 239 yards, 3 touchdowns

Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The X-man is in the middle spot on this list based on his longevity, however his costly fumble against the Broncos In 2018 costs him from being ranked any higher on this list. Grimble was a solid third string tight end for a number of years, but never really put it all together. Grimble signed with the Colts this past offseason.

3. Ladarius Green

18 Receptions, 304 yards, 1 touchdown

Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

Ladarius Green was freakishly talented, had he stayed healthy the Steelers probably pick up another Lombardi trophy for their troubles. Seriously, he was that good. His entire stat line as a member of the Steelers came in just 6 games! That averages out to 48 receptions and 810 yards yards in a full season, as basically the fourth receiving option for the team. The Steelers were loaded and Green was the final piece to the puzzle. Concussions ended his promising career and any chance of being ranked higher on this list.

2. Vance McDonald

101 Receptions, 1,071 yards, 8 touchdowns

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Vance ‘The Vanimal’ McDonald has made some eye popping plays since the Steelers traded for him in 2017. McDonald most famously stiff armed Chris Conte through the turf at Raymond James stadium on Monday Night Football. In a highlight that will be played until the end of time. Struggles with injuries keep Vance from the number one spot but he has a good chance of overtaking the position regardless in 2020.

1. Jesse James

120 Receptions, 1,189 yards, 9 touchdowns

Carolina Panthers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Who else could it be. Jesse James even got the same ‘Heeeath’ as the Steelers all-time greatest tight end. A model of consistency for four seasons, James was a gigantic target for Ben Roethlisberger. James received a contract even bigger than his size from the Detroit Lions in 2019 but still holds the top spot of our list to this day. Oh yeah, and Jesse caught it!

Thats our list! How did we do? How would you rank these tight end? Where will Eric Ebron land on this list in 2021? Let us know down in the comments below!