Steelers

NFL Draft: Free agency makes tight end a need

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Steelers tight end Vance McDonald -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

He hasn't gotten to the point where fans chant his name yet after every catch -- maybe because his first name doesn't roll off the tongue quite like "Heath -- but Steelers tight end Vance McDonald has established himself as a fan favorite with his physical style of play.

He's easily the team's best tight end since the beloved Heath Miller roamed opposing secondaries.

But it's that same physical style of play that also causes McDonald to get nicked up at times. And that became an interesting proposition for the Steelers when No. 2 tight end Jesse James was signed by the Lions to a four-year, $22.6-million contract in free agency earlier this year.

With James gone and McDonald's injury history -- he missed at least one game in each of his six NFL seasons -- the Steelers have a hole at their backup tight end position.

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