Doubts about Ladarius Green may lead Steelers to draft a tight end

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A year ago, the Steelers signed Ladarius Green to a four-year, $20 million contract, thinking that meant they had found Heath Miller’s replacement at tight end. It hasn’t worked out that way.

Green missed 10 games in the regular season and all three games in the postseason, and now the Steelers aren’t sure he’ll ever be ready to go. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that the Steelers’ coaches may not have any hopes for Green, and the Steelers are likely to draft a tight end.

There were reports shortly after Green arrived in Pittsburgh that the Steelers found out only after he signed that a lingering ankle issue and a history of concussions were worse than the team thought. The Steelers, however, said that wasn’t the case.

If the Steelers spend their first-round pick on a tight end tonight, that’s a strong sign that they’re not as confident in Green now as they were a year ago.

25 responses to “Doubts about Ladarius Green may lead Steelers to draft a tight end

  1. They will not draft a TE in the first round. They have much more pressing needs on defense.

  2. After the whole missed training camp issue, I said I didn’t think Green would never play a down in a a Steeler uniform…I lost the battle but, I think I won the war. With an aging Gates, I just don’t think SD would have let a supremely talented TE like Green go without a fight. That is, unless they knew he had injury issues. Just IMO…

  3. Ed Bouchette also said they will not draft a TE in the first round. It will be an OLB or Corner. I hope a corner! I like the other King. Desmond from Iowa.

  4. They need an outside linebacker, a corner, and a safety much more than TE – although Howard and Njoku both look really good.

  5. Why do the Steelers ALWAYS discount the players that they already have?
    Jesse James is a solid TE, we don’t need an expensive gamebreaker at TE.

  6. So much confetti when the Steelers signed Ladarius Green, evidently nobody noticed how he was all potential and no production in SD. The guy could be a star if he could stay healthy (he can’t).

  7. Grabbing a TE in the first round would be surprising. Obviously, I believe the Steelers grab an OLB or secondary help in the first round again. Picking a TE in the 2nd or 3rd round makes better sense.

  8. We need a CB (slot) and a OLB that can contribute right away to have a legitimate shot at winning a superbowl. There will be good tight ends available in the late 3rd and 4th rounds like a Jake Butt. The defense needs to be the priority to get over the hump before Ben hangs it up in a year or two. Let’s win number seven for Dan Rooney, if we need to trade up trade up to fill our needs !!! #winnow

  9. If the steelers like one of the top 5 QB don’t be shocked… This draft is loaded with edge rushers and CBs. They’ll still be good ones in rnd 2-4.

  10. Bouchette was not talking about a TE in the first round, he said the later rounds perhaps day 2 and even that is speculation as he’s not really sure about Green’s condition.

  11. No way in the first….not a chance. James is decent and has improved to be a capable starter. They have way too many serious needs to spend a first round pick on a TE. Maybe with one of their two third round picks, but no higher. It’s crazy how everyone wants to talk about the Steelers taking a QB, RB, TE, and S. These are all positions where they can use depth but don’t need starters. CB, OLB, ILB is the priority in the first three or four rounds period. Anything else is someone blowing smoke.

  12. It’s funny that sometimes what is obvious to the fans ins’t obvious to the personnel people in the NFL.

    Green has really good straight line speed, so he can run away from safeties, but he can’t get open in the short area, so he’s pretty much useless as a typical tight end. He got his catches in SD over the top when Gates was attracting attention underneath.

    On top of that, his injury history was pretty well documented.

    Pretty surprised a good organization like Pittsburgh made the leap.

  13. all these media *experts* and mock drafts w/ the steelers taking a te in round 1… smh. do your homework. not a pressing need.

    that being said, chargers likely still giggling they were able to unload this guy on the steelers. clearly damaged goods.

  14. A few comments after reading the comments…

    1. Jesse James is a good player, but not in the same league as the elite TEs with the speed to be real downfield threats (like Green). He’s good, but not the kind of TE that makes you say “we’re all set.”

    2. It’s a SHAME Green can’t stay on the field because the offense goes up a HUGE notch when he plays. Had Green been able to play in the AFC Championship that would’ve been an entirely different game. Roethlisberger is a much bigger threat at QB with Green in there — who also wouldn’t have dropped all those passes.

    3. Anyone who thinks the Steelers would be wasting a first rounder on a TE is wrong. First, this is the strongest TE draft in years. Second, the Steelers are practically starting out drafting in the second round anyway. Watch how high OJ Howard goes then talk to me about “wasting” a first rounder. The Steelers won’t have a chance at Howard, but there are three other guys worth taking with the pick.

  15. Forget tight ends, they need pass rushers, corners and safeties. You just lost to the Pats, again. News flash they are still there. Brady can throw 30 points on Pittsburgh blindfolded. At least the Ravens were smart enough go out and get safeties to deal with Pittsburgh this offseason.

  16. If he’s due to make a couple million bucks and they don’t think he’ll get on the field at the beginning of the season, I could easily see them cutting him.

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