The Steelers continue to make changes to their roster, today trading for tight end Vance McDonald from the San Francisco 49ers.
The Steelers traded their fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft in exchange for McDonald and the 49ers fifth-round pick in 2018.
"He is an NFL capable tight end," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "Another guy to add to that mix. Some competition there. We'll quickly get him up to speed as soon as we get him here, and proceed with the process of acclimating him not only to what to do, but how we go about our business here. We have some familiarity with him. We studied him when he came out in the draft. We are excited about that addition.
"We evaluated him a certain way coming out of the draft. I am sure he has evolved in a lot of ways. I am always hesitant to draw conclusions about what someone is capable of being in our environment based on what they were in another environment. I am excited about giving him an opportunity to show his skill set, and maybe learn some new ones here. We will put him in some work environment situations and see what he does well and see what he is open to learning to do and hopefully his role grows." McDonald, the 49ers second-round draft pick in 2013, started all 11games he played in 2016 and finished the season with 24 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
He has 64 career receptions for 866 yards and seven touchdowns.
McDonald played at Rice University, where he is sixth all-time in receptions with 119, and seventh in receiving yards with 1,504.
McDonald will be on fast forward learning the offense and getting ready for the Steelers first regular season game on Sept. 10 at Cleveland.
"We will give him work, how he responds to that will be how we proceed," said Tomlin. "We will repeat that process until he is caught up. How much he is able to handle, how long that process is, is up to him."