Steelers Round 5 Pick Looks to Add to the Tight End Depth


The Steelers selected Jesse James a tight end for Penn State as their fifth round pick. While the need at TE is not dire, some fresh talent could be good.

Steelers officials have been quoted many times that they don’t draft for “need.” I understand what they mean. You have to take the talent that you see as having the most potential to help the team.

The tight end position is one of those positions right now.  As I have said with Roethlisberger on multiple occasions, you can’t wait until he is broken and/or ineffective to make a back-up plan.

It’s the same with the tight end position, particularly with how they like to use them – as part of the receiver corp who can also lay down a great block.

Hands down, I don’t think anyone can argue with what Heath Miller has been to this team and he did get better with age. However, he is a veteran and he has had a major injury. It should be a concern for the Steelers.

Getting someone like James, who they can work with before they have to worry about replacing Miller could be a good thing. Yes, the defense needs a lot. The rebuilding has to focus there, but the Steelers can’t and aren’t ignoring offensive talent.

What does James bring? Well, according to, he set the Penn State school record for 11 career receiving TDs by a tight end. Ok, I like that.

Another strenghth, also according to

"Shows a feel for when he comes open in the seam and will turn quickly to find the throw.”"

One of his weaknesses is “Play demeanor lacks desired fire and aggressiveness.”

Seriously?  If that is the second sentence of weaknesses, I think you are writing to fill the space. I think attitude and willingness to do whatever it takes means a lot but I think judging “fire” and “aggressiveness” can be subjective.

Mark Kaboly tweeted:

James is added to the roster along with veterans Heath (say it with me, Heeeaaattthhhh!) Miller and Matt Spaeth.

The Steelers also have Rob Blanchflower (1 year in the league, drafted by the Steelers last year) and Michael Egnew (3 years in the league) who played for Miami last year.

At this point, it looks more like James would be competing for a spot on the practice spot, although Matt Spaeth could see less playing time.

What do you think about Jesse James’ role on the Steelers, Steeler Nation?

Next: Steelers Draft Day 2 Grade

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