2015 Steelers NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds v9.0

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Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Palmer could both be playing elsewhere this fall, and Heath Miller will be 33 years old later in October too. Not helping the situation is the fact that both Rob Blanchflower and Michael Egnew have zilch in terms of professional game experience under their belts’.

Unless Spaeth and Palmer, who are not passing game threats, are re-signed, Pittsburgh’s brass will proably look to draft a tight end in April. Nick Boyle of Delaware could be a third day target for the Steelers if they decide to fill other pressing needs in earlier rounds.

The experienced (36 starts at Delaware) Boyle fits the types of frame and skill-set molds of what the Steelers have favored in players at the tight end position for the better part of the last two decades. The former Blue Hen has the size (6’4” 268 lbs.) and blocking ability to be a stable in-line tight end at the professional level. Boyle can contribute in the passing game on short to intermediate routes (2013-2014: 79 catches, 778 yards, 11 TDs) and has the hands to be a reliable safety-valve in “12 personnel” packages.

In addition to his work as a tight end, Boyle can contribute on special teams and even has the ability to long snap according to the University’s team site. This is good news when one considers how Greg Warren has been hobbled at times by injuries in recent seasons.

Like Jesse James, Ben Koyack, Nick O’Leary, E.J. Bibbs and other tight ends in this class, Boyle will have to prove that he can separate from faster defensive backs and linebackers at the professional level in the passing game. Moreover, he will have to display that he has the type of craftiness to find space in zone coverage and in the red zone to help his quarterback in those situations.

Next: Round 6