PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have added depth at tight end, acquiring Vance McDonald and a 2018 fifth-round draft pick from San Francisco.
The Steelers sent a fourth-round pick to the 49ers.
McDonald caught 24 passes for San Francisco in 2016, setting career highs with 391 yards receiving and four touchdowns.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says he wants more consistency at tight end. Pittsburgh released Ladarius Green in March, leaving a group that includes Jesse James, Xavier Grimble and David Johnson.
KDKA Steelers insider Ed Bouchette with the Post-Gazette says that the Steelers’ tight end position needs an upgrade.
“After they lost Heath Miller, they went out and paid a whole lot more money for a tight end last year, Ladarius Green, who had health issues and he didn’t work out. Maybe this kid can,” said Bouchette.
Bouchette adds McDonald could be an improvement to a tight end group that hasn’t collectively been able to “come close to Heath Miller’s production.”
San Francisco drafted McDonald in the second round in 2013. McDonald has struggled with drops during his four NFL seasons but averaged 16.3 yards a catch last season, the highest among San Francisco regulars.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)