CBS Sports Analyst Pat Kirwan Has Steelers Taking TE Eric Ebron In Latest Mock Draft

On Friday, CBS Sports analyst Pat Kirwan released his latest mock of the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and after previously having the Pittsburgh Steelers selecting Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’shede Hageman with the 15th overall selection, he now has them taking North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron this go-around.

Kirwan writes:

The Steelers will not reach for a corner, though they could consider a defensive lineman like RaShede Hageman, but Ebron is a matchup problem for defenses and a guy who would take pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger.

Kirwan, who also predicted a few first-round trades in his latest mock, has the top two rated cornerbacks and wide receivers already off the board when the Steelers pick. In addition, he also has three tackles being selected in the first nine picks.

As far as Ebron goes, he didn’t have a great Pro Day last week as it was reported he dropped quite a few passes. Despite that, many still consider him to be the best tight end in the draft class that will be selected somewhere in the top 20 picks come May.

Chime in below with your latest thoughts on Ebron possibly being the Steelers first-round pick and also share your thoughts on Kirwan’s top-15 overall picks and order.

  • Russ Ruffing

    If they draft Ebron at 15, I’ll puke on the TV. This spot HAS to be either a top-shelf WR or a top-shelf CB. It cannot be a Def Lineman or a linebacker that will take at least a year of seasoning to start on this team. And if it is a WR, it better not be a smurf.

    If the top two WR and CB are gone as Kirwan predicts, then trade down!

  • Jason White

    And if no team wants to move up at 15? Gotta draft someone.

  • Jason White

    If they do trade back to say the mid 20s Ebron likely won’t be there but in that case I would prefer Kelvin Benjamin.

  • Geoff Cordner

    I love all the negativity about pick 15.. it would almoost be better if the Steelers were picking at the top or bottom of the draft. To pick smack dab in the middle of the draft is making everyone’s heads spin! This pick will be gone.. this pick is too high a pick to pick for number 15. I love reading all the player evaluations and mock drafts, and the comments that come from them.. However, you know what picks MOST interest me in this draft? They are the ones that come in rounds 4+ … the gambles! the underdogs! The sleepers! Those are the interesting one. I don’t care who the steelers pick in the first round.. who will be 2014 Vince Williams?

  • Deuce22

    With this being such a deep draft class, I can see the Steelers trying to trade up or down from the 15 spot. I can see them looking to nab a top WR or CB if they can trade up, but if that isn’t possible, I see them trading back and getting extra picks for the later rounds typically where Colbert & Co. have had some great success finding those late round gems. Either way, I have faith in the Steelers organization to pick who they think will help this team lead their way to Lombardi #7. Go Steelers!

  • Jason White

    It’s funny too cause Ebron is considered by many to be a top 20 pick and yet a lot of people say 15 is too high to take Ebron. I may be wrong but I always thought 15 was higher than 20 but not too much higher though. My guess would be 5 spots higher but again I could be wrong. Maybe I am confused.

    Is it 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20?
    Or is it 1 2 3 4 15 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20?

  • Steelers12328882

    At this point I’m trying to be open to the Steelers drafting just about any player at 15, considering WR, TE, OT, DE, NT, OLB, MLB and CB are possibilities. It’s almost overwhelming looking at the players left in the 1st rd of Kirwan’s mock draft playing those positions (Ebron, Barr, Hageman, Lee, Shazier, Cooks, Tuitt, Ford, Nix, Benjamin, Beckham Jr., Mosley) I think I’d be happy with just about any one of those players, so if it’s Ebron I think that’d be great value for us. I’m really leaning toward a WR though, and a player like Lee or Benjamin would be great.

  • kev4heels

    If both WR’s and CB’s were off the board when we pick, I would hope to trade down a bit and pick up an extra 3rd. I would then take a guy like Benjamin or Beckham. However, it takes two to tango and seeing as this is a very deep draft, teams won’t be apt to trading as much as normal. Hopefully, a QB drops and we could get decent value for a trade back.

    With that said, if we were to pick Ebron, I would be perfectly fine with it. The guy is an absolute matchup nightmare. He has GREAT athleticism and balance for a guy his size. Ebron would be a red-zone moneymaker.

  • ApexSteel

    I think we’re going to end up drafting Dennard personally. I’m pretty sure my first and second choices Mike Evans and Justin Gilbert will be gone at 15 so we’ll end up with another good corner.

  • Geoff Cordner

    Maybe the Browns will trade up from pick 26 (?) to 15 to get their guy – maybe a QB that drops?


    As an investment contrarian, the argument could be made that there is value in trading UP with purportedly many teams competing to trade down. In any case, I would not complain if the pick ends up being Ebron.

  • Steelers12328882

    Just a question about Kirwan’s 14th pick. Can Timmy Jernigan play NT in the Steelers defense?

  • pittsburghjoe

    I hope Kirwin has not given up his day job. Ain’t gonna happen..PAT! Not at 15!

  • Jason White

    He is better suited as a 4-3 DT. Too small of a frame to be a NT in a 3-4. I hope they give DeAndre Coleman a look late on day 3. He is better suited to play the 5 tech for the Steelers. He is a run stuffer.

  • Carlos

    This pick would be a disaster, after having a shot at T Eifert last year it would be just sad to end up selecting a TE whith blocking issues and who doesn’t own elite hands. Not for us.

  • Paddy

    If he’s the best available on their board then yes, but I think they have 10 players rated better

  • dgh57

    I was so so high on us drafting a TE last year with Miller rehabbing a serious knee injuring but guess what Pat Kirwan we didn’t not with any of our picks! With Miller now healthy and having his contract extended makes it even less likely at #15.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    Im hoping for a top cb if they put as much energy finding gems in later rds imagine what they can have at 15 but im with you also we got so many holes that BPA will still be a homerun in the middle of the draft

  • StrengthOfVictory

    My feeling is the Steelers like Benjamin a bit more than Ebron these days. And honestly? If you put a gun to my head at pick 15 with Gilbert, Dennard, and Evans off the board, I’d probably snag KB over Ebron.

  • 243546

    I’ve thought the same thing about trading up. If there’s truth to what Colbert said about teams wanting to trade back, then any team willing to trade up may not have to give up as much to move up the board.

  • 243546

    Jernigans frame isn’t to small. He’s a powerhouse, and is the same size as Joel Steed was when he entered the league.

  • HoDepot

    Wouldn’t Ebron make sense here, assuming he is a top flight TE? Steelers get a tall receiver, they become more multiple with 12 or 22 sets which would support the run game (better than a tall WR would), and the TE would have 1-2 years to learn alongside Heath.

  • Jason White

    He is just shy of 300lbs. That is not a nose tackle body.

  • RMSteeler

    Pats, Browns, or Ravens may want to trade up depending on who falls. If no one wants to trade up to 15, I would have no problem with Ebron or KB there. The offense needs mismatches to open things up. Yes, I know that the defense needs double the picks we have, but this may be a year that the offense needs to carry the defense until the defense can be adjusted. Would like to see the defensive players from last year’s prctice squad step up in camp. A couple of those players may make more of an impact this year than many think. Sure would take some pressure off the defensive side.

  • harding36

    I think Dulac said that the Steelers really like Benjamin and Cooks. I would rather have either of those guys before Ebron.

  • harding36

    By the way, Kirwan has the Browns taking Benjamin. Pairing Benjamin with Josh Gordon would be lethal.

  • Jollyrob68

    I Think the Browns come up for a QB and that gets us two 3rds. If San Diego wants to move up it would be there 2nd.

  • RyanW

    I really dont want this guy. Dude reminds me too much of Limas Sweed. Butterfingers.

  • Madi

    To me it all depends on if you are playing Ebron the way you play a WR. Is he like a #2 TE that can play like a WR? Well in that case it’s not so different from drafting a WR, and Miller’s health/age/ability is irrelevant. Are you drafting him to sit behind and then replace Miller? Forget it. That’s a waste of a pick. It’s stupid to have either Eric Ebron OR Heath Miller on the bench. Only draft him if you’re changing the offense to play two TEs.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s the point most people seem to be missing. It’s not Ebron or Heath. It’s Ebron and Heath.

    Ebron lined up in the slot 72% of his snaps last year. And he lined up outside wide 6.5% of his snaps.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Last year Jimmy Graham caught 60.1% of the passes thrown to him.
    Last year Vernon Davis caught 61.9% of the passes thrown to him.
    Last year Rob Gronkowski caught 59.1% of the passes thrown his way.

    Guess what Eric Ebron’s catch percentage was?… 64.6% (And that was catching passes from Bryn Renner, not Brees or Brady)

    Ebron catches more % of his passes than any of the top 3 NFL TE’s. And those are not short/screen passes, those are deep down the field in coverage. You don’t do that with bad hands.

    Now in fairness. He may drop a couple more easy ones than he should. But if he’s catching 65% of the balls thrown his way while he’s running a 4.5-ish forty at 240 pounds those are some pretty good hands.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I’m assuming you’re talking about Gilbert (CB), Dennard (CB), Watkins (WR), and Evans (WR)?… So a smurf WR is no good but a smurf CB is?

    Dennard is a very solid prospect but remember he is 5 feet 10.7 inches tall with only 30 inch arms. I have some concerns with him being able to defend taller NFL WR’s deep down the field.

    Also, does that mean you’re passing on Sammy Watkins if he’s available at 1.15? Because he’s under 6’1″ tall. That’s dangerously close to smurf range IMO.

    I want a top WR or top CB as much as anybody. But I’m just wondering how you came up with those four guys?

  • pat

    Also doesnt have NFL defense guarding him which is why he cathes a better percentage I hope we pass on him

  • JC Chuta

    Steelers pay close attention to ‘Pro-Day’ performances. Ebron has been “crossed-off” their list. I only see them taking him if he is available on the 3rd Round.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    But that applies to every prospect in the draft. Are you doubting Clowney or Barr because they went against college offensive linemen?

    If you don’t like Ebron that’s fine. That’s what discussion boards are about. But speed is speed. What makes you think he’ll run slower in the NFL?

    And if you think NFL defenses have a good answer for covering these hybrid TE’s then I question how many NFL games you’re actually watching?

  • Terry T

    Steeler need defensive help if it takes a year to develop so be it. If no quality defensive players are available, if Ebron is projected to be a complete Tight End, then the pick would make sense. However, their focus should first be on fixing the defense. Go for an additional wide out and RD in middle to late rounds this year.

  • Terry T

    oops! that was RB (Running Back!)

  • AndyR34

    Do not assume there was much thought involved! LOL

  • sean mcmartin

    Ike Taylor is starting..Should not be much debate on what position they need.
    draft a top CB that can play after Ike gives up the first few games by allowing every catch to be completed in front of him. even on crucial plays he gives a cushion in front of the first down marker. liability..

  • steelster

    Marqise lee round 1 and then draft 2 corners in a row and a de in the 4th.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I think everyone agrees we need a good CB. The question was, if Kirwan’s mock holds true and Gilbert and Dennard are both gone in the first 14 picks, who would you select?

    Would you take Ebron and then draft a CB in the 2nd round?

    Would you take the next best CB (presumably Fuller) at 1.15 even though it’s considered by many a reach?

  • Rob Dove

    Ebron is not a bad choice. We had a better one last year and it seems
    like we missed on the pick. If the top two corners and receivers are
    gone, and the top three tackles there are only seven players left to be
    taken before we pick. The following positions should have their top
    prospects available for one of the seven slots ahead of us, 3 could be
    qbs, one will be clowney that is 4 more gone now out of the remaining 3
    spots we have the best at the following positions up for selection TE,
    ILB, OLB, C, G, DT, S, RB, FB, NT. That is the best of this years draft in 7 out of 10 positions when we pick.

    alternatives to one of those we could be looking at the 3rd rated wr,
    4th OT, 4th QB, 2nd to third DE 4th corner back etc. At 15 we need to
    draft the best available, if a TE or DT so be it. There are enough holes
    in the teams roster at this time to compete with a screen door. The top
    player at any position will likely help a lot. Our team has had
    consecutive 8-8 seasons there is not a lot to indicate that the team is
    loaded with talent at any one spot. If our pick has the best running
    back in the draft available would you not consider him? We only have one
    that appears to be ready to carry the load for the team if he gets hurt
    and we have no run threat our offense becomes one dimensional and
    easier to stop than normal.

    Point is our team may be picking high
    again next year as well. We do not have to fill all the holes with this
    draft. We need to fill some of them. We are not one WR away from
    greatness or one corner back we need more good players than the draft
    picks are likely to provide. Even if we were to pull off a draft like
    Chuck Noll’s draft that produced so many hall of famers we are still not likely to have this team ready to win a super bowl this year, it could happen, just isn’t likely.

  • Don

    I hope they’re not so narrow-minded that they would ignore 2-4 years of tape in lieu of one afternoon.

  • Louis Goetz

    The more I watch the less I can decide if I’d rather see the Steelers take Mike Evans of Kelvin Benjamin. I just know that I want to see at least one of them in a Steelers uniform! The best way to describe Mike Evans is this; 100%, he is Heath Miller with 4.5 speed and longer arms. Think about that! Heath Miller with 4.5 speed instead of 4.8 speed. Without Evans, Manziel is literally telling the school newspaper that he’s excited about his upcoming senior season. The guy absolutely dominates the field, especially after the catch. Watch his 95 yd TD against Alabama or his 65 yarder against Auburn. The guy goes and gets every ball that’s thrown to him and he exerts his will against everyone trying to cover him. Then you watch Benjamin and even with a much better QB he still has a catch radius roughly the size of Canada. It doesn’t matter where you put the ball, he will go and get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s behind him, above him, if he has to come back, adjust, completely turn around, the guy has the agility to get whatever ball is within his arms’ reach. He’ll highpoint the ball every time and if he has to move you out the way to get it, you get moved. I only lean towards Benjamin because the Steelers could probably move back to 22, get Benjamin there and pick up a 3rd rounder in the process. But it’s hard to stop thinking about a guy who could literally be Heath Miller with 4.5 speed.

  • steelster

    Didn’t Jarvis Jones have a poor pro day.

  • tricitysteel

    Finally someone else mentioned Marquise Lee, he should be a receiver everyone at least considers. He is Santonio Holmes w/out being such a (pot)head case. Much more production than other players people are mentioning if the top 4 are gone.