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Pittsburgh Steelers Select UMASS Tight End Rob Blanchflower in the Seventh Round of the NFL Draft

May 10th, 2014 at 8:26 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers have completed their 2014 NFL Draft by selecting a small-school tight end prospect in Rob Blanchflower from Massachusetts. While somewhat an unknown commodity, he did catch enough of the coaching staffs eye to warrant an inventation during the pre-draft process.

'NFL Draft 2010 ESPN Set' photo (c) 2010, Marianne O'Leary - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Blanchflower is not a hybrid receiver like Eric Ebron, or some of the other high round prospects. Instead, he is a traditional inline tight end that plays with a physical edge.

At 6-4, 256-pounds, Blanchflower plays tough and uses his size and physicality as a blocker in the running game. Not a quick twitch athlete or explosive, he does show solid hands on film and is experienced as a four-year starter and team captain (two years). Because of the lack of explosion off the ball and uneven route running, he also struggled with separation in the passing game. In the end, Blanchflower is a blue-collar tight end that leads by example with effort and heart. Is he the future at the position, probably not? However, with the Steelers keeping four tight ends in 2013, he is a prospect that could come in and compete for the third / fourth tight end position in 2014.

His selection marked the end of a draft in which the Steelers addressed many needs and added some speed to the roster. Next up is breaking down the undrafted rookie free agents that will be signed in the upcoming days.

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Tags: Football, Massachusetts, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rob Blanchflower

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