The “best” of the rest:
- Zach Gentry, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Richard Rodgers, Philadelphia Eagles
- Charlie Woerner, Georgia
- Levine Toledo, San Francisco 49ers
- Sean McKeon, Michigan
- Clive Walford, Miami Dolphins
- Dom Wood-Anderson, Tennessee
Essentially, if the Steelers turn to any of these options, they’ll have to make like Aretha Franklin and “Say a little prayer” because this would be pretty bad. Yes, Zach Gentry tops this list since he has at least seen some snaps at TE on this team. That said, he is completely unknown and likely not ready to take on the role of TE2 with the team.
Richard Rodgers has been quiet the past few years, which should keep his market down. He was productive in Green Bay though and would look to find that spark again. Toledo is a mediocre option across the board but has seen a lot of playing time in the league and could be serviceable at best. Clive Walford is a big athlete but his skills have never transitioned into much success.
Charlie Woerner is a favorite of mine as a late-round prospect. He can block and was underutilized while at Georgia.
If the team misses out of the first wave of TE’s, he could be a consolation prize and a future TE2 if he develops. Sean McKeon is similar, in that he is a good blocker but not much of a receiving threat. Dom Wood-Anderson is also a blocker but tested poorly at the combine. He is someone that would make sense as a UDFA and practice squad guy down the road.
The more I look at this list, the sadder I get. This position is the definition of boom or bust, as the only players with legitimate potential are the rookie atop this list. If it were up to me, I would expect the Steelers to sign Vannett or a similar caliber player on the second list to a reasonable two-year deal. Target one of the top four options in the 2nd or 3rd round to compete with Vannett for the TE2 role and to hopefully develop into McDonald’s replacement. Altogether, this is a position of need with very few ideal ways to fill it.