December 9, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: What the Steelers draft says about TE Heath Miller

Entering the 2013 NFL draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers had plenty of holes to fill.

At least on paper it looks like Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert filled those holes and added depth to some positions of need.

Dec 23, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) drops a pass in front of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Ray Maualuga (58) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Bengals won the game, 13-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

One thing he didn’t do though is address the tight end position and I believe that says a great deal about the one he already has.

After tearing his ACL on December 23, in what was his best season as a pro, Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller was expected to miss a good chunk of the 2013 season. But by the Steelers not at least drafting a tight end in the middle rounds I believe says a lot about the fact that Colbert feels that Miller may not miss as much time as originally thought.

I’m not expecting an Adrian Peterson-type of recovery for Miller, but if the Steelers expected Miller to miss a large portion of the season, it’s likely that they would have drafted a tight end for insurance purposes. That’s not just insurance for this season in the fact that Miler is coming off of a serious knee injury, but insurance for the future in case he can’t be signed to a contract extension when his deal is up.

If the Steelers believed in any of that, they likely would have taken a tight end in the fourth round instead of reaching on a quarterback they could have gotten later on.

Coming off ACL surgery, whatever the Steelers get from Miller in 2013 is a bonus. The 2014 season  is likely the target year for Miller to start making a big impact on the Steelers’ offense again.

But by not drafting a tight end, Colbert is saying two things.

The first is that they believe the Steelers will be fine in the short-term with Matt Spaeth and David Paulson at the position.

Secondly he’s saying he expects Miller to be back and contributing this season.

That alone is good news for Steeler fans.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Heath Miller Pittsburgh Steelers

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