Steelers Were Attracted To High Level Of Aggression Shown By TE Rob Blanchflower

While the Pittsburgh Steelers did extend the contract of veteran tight end Heath Miller during the offseason, they were wise to address the depth at the position on day three of the 2014 NFL Draft nonetheless.

Their selection? Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower, a 6-foot-4, 256-pound prospect that has struggled with a few injuries, but possesses great upside.

“We drafted Rob Blanchflower with our seventh-round pick,” Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel said just after the pick was made. “Rob was a guy who we had targeted. We brought him in for a visit, and I spent a lot of time getting to know him. I think he’s got a chance to be helpful for us being a part of this football team.

“He has a high level of aggression. He’s a two-phase guy, which is different than a lot of the guys you have coming at you right now. We look for guys that are either going to be run blockers or they’re going to be pass receivers. He’s adept at both of them so that is something that interests us in him. He’s playing in a multiple formation offense so that gave us a chance to look at him in a lot of things.”

While we will likely have to wait a while to find out if Blanchflower will one day succeed Miller, the two already have a lot in common. As I pointed out on Twitter after the selection was made, both had sports hernias before they were drafted.

“He had sports hernia surgery after the season, so he played with some muscle problems during the season,” said Daniels, who also noted that Blanchflower is now over the injury.

In order for Blanchflower to make the Steelers final 53 man roster this year, he’s going to have to contribute and show that aggression of his on special teams.

“He did a little bit of it, but he played all year with some factors that probably kept him from being a special teams guy,” said Daniels. “I think he’s special teams capable though.”

In 38 games played at Massachusetts, Blanchflower caught 109 passes for 1,164 yards and nine touchdowns.

  • Rubem Dornas

    Bye, Paulson.

  • John

    Possibly. But whether a seventh round pick can make the roster and be better than Palmer and Paulsen is a big step. If the UMass product was that good someone else would have taken him before round 7. This is not a developmental pick where we draft a guy and figure if we can put 20 extra pounds on him and teach him to play we may have something. This is more he is who he is which means he is limited. I hope all the optimism is corrct but let’s keep the situation in mind.

  • Weiss Chad

    If he can block or catch he’s better than Paulson .The best thing on this kid is that he can block and catch.To what level is yet to be seen.Hopefully he is better than spaeth.

  • steeltown

    BFlower was on a terrible Team going up against avg opponents, but he was the ONE bright spot on the UMASS club. Most Organizations covet guys from big name schools with successful programs, it definitely effected his draft status

  • DoctorNoah

    So true. Very humble when he broke all the school records on a team with a terrible record and losing season. I haven’t seen too much splash when it comes to running seams or being a pass-catching threat, but he should hopefully block well. Every tight end we have other than Heath is a liability in some aspect of the game. Maybe this guy will be well-rounded enough to be the 2nd TE. If he’s agressive enough.

    Would love to see some of these draftees play right away.

  • U have seen Paulson? He can’t block/catch

  • stellarsfan

    Tell me. In which rounds were palmer and Paulson taken? How is it a “big step” to think blanchflower will be better than an undrafted FA and former 7th round pick? He fell in the draft for 3 reasons: injury issues, smaller school/program, the deepness of this draft. You’ve heard Colbert and others say guys in this draft would normally grade out a round or two higher in previous years drafts. Check out his game footage from the western Michigan and Miami (OH) games and you’ll see some of the potential everyone else is seeing.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I wish him luck but I think the pick would’ve been better spent on Antonio Richardson (OT) Tennessee.

  • AzheDraven

    Hope its not Aaron Hernandez kind of agressiveness

  • steeltown

    Im hoping so

  • shawn


  • James Kling

    Very strange that Tiny fell that far. What’s up with that?

  • scott2443

    just watched some tape on this kid ..he seems to be a move the chains short passing TE not a threat to go deep like miller is so in a short passing line up he seems to be a threat …could he learn under miller for a few years and be a miller clone time will tell ..he looks like miller on those short passes question is do you keep him ….training camp look out here comes a new TE for a job

  • wdhammer

    if he breaths he’s better than Palmer and Paulson

  • tim

    Lets put it this way…if Bflower can hold a block longer than 2 seconds he’s already better than DP…..he’s a DP for a reason