Steelers depth chart: 3 players who could see reduced roles in 2021

Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Vince Williams #98 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron (85). Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

TE Eric Ebron

Most would have thought Vance McDonald’s retirement would have had Eric Ebron seeing an uptick in usage following the 2020 season. However, thanks to the addition of second-round pick, Pat Freiermuth, it’s entirely possible that Ebron is used less this year than he was just a season ago.

Ebron didn’t exactly impress in his first season in black and gold. Despite being just a few years removed from an impressive 2018 campaign that concluded with a Pro Bowl appearance, Ebron had 7 drops last season, graded out as one of the worst tight ends in the league via Pro Football Focus, and couldn’t block to save his life.

In steps Freiermuth – an unproven, somewhat raw rookie. Under most circumstances, I would have to assume that the Steelers would want to ease their new tight end onto the NFL stage. But I don’t see that being the case this year.

Even if Freiermuth has some inconsistencies or missed assignments, the coaching staff is quickly going to notice how much better he is as a blocker and use him accordingly. Ebron was credited with just 9 starts last season but played 70 percent of offensive snaps. I don’t see that happening again in 2021.