Zach Gentry Jersey

The Pittsburgh Steelers selection of Michigan tight end Zach Gentry was something of a surprise pick in the fifth-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, a player many experts had projected to go few round later. And although the young tight end did not necessarily impress at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier in the year, his size should make him a mismatch for defenders as long as he can learn to use his physical gifts.

When reading the scouting reports written about him ahead of the draft, the experts seem to see a player who still has a lot of development ahead of him, but one who could also have some situational value while he works on some of the fundamental aspects of the position.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com:

“With his size and background at Michigan, teams might be tempted to play him as a combination tight end with run-blocking duties, but he’s much better-suited in space than in the trenches. Gentry runs pretty well and moves fluidly as a route-runner, but his hands and focus can be maddening. He showed flashes of what he could do with a more capable quarterback last year, but his disappointing workouts and testing might have pushed back and out of the draft.”

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report:

STRENGTHS

Smooth runner on film who gets into his route cleanly and has good cuts and breaks at his route stem.

Big target over the middle with a high football IQ. Makes himself available to the quarterback with his eyes and his body.

Has some seam speed and value as a 50-50 option down the field. His 34⅛-inch arms give him a massive catch radius.

Will post up defenders over the middle and isn’t afraid of traffic.

Developmental body that looks like it has room to grow; former quarterback who still has the lean body more natural to his old position.

WEAKNESSES

Among the stiffest players evaluated in the entire 2019 draft class. Lacks the light feet and loose hips to make cuts and pull away from coverage.

Tested below-average athletically with a 4.9-second 40-yard dash, 29½-inch vertical jump, 110-inch broad jump, 7.4-second three-cone drill and just 12 bench-press reps. Each was good for the bottom 25th percentile among tight ends or worse.

Lacks play strength, especially in the blocking game.

His hands are incredibly inconsistent; he double catches a lot of balls and lets way too many throws get into his body.

Doesn’t appear to be super coordinated; doesn’t have good body control or flexibility.

OVERALL

Zach Gentry is a former quarterback who still has room to develop physically and mentally as a three-down tight end. He didn’t develop much in the Michigan offense and will need time to acclimate to the NFL. He’s a draft-and-stash type of player and not an early-impact tight end.

GRADE: 5.40 (ROUND 6 — BACKUP CALIBER) PRO COMPARISON: Ryan Griffin

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network:

“Zach Gentry is a seam-buster Tight End prospect who has attractive size and mobility to be considered a receiving asset at the next level. His height will serve as a natural barrier to playing with necessary functional strength, but when Gentry is placed into space and allowed to work vertically he does strong work against linebackers and safeties. Gentry may never be a featured full-time TE but his skills have a place at the next level as a receiving threat.”

Joe Marino, The Draft Network:

“While Gentry may be built like an in-line tight end, his lack of power at the point of attack and elongated releases into his route stems present notable restrictions. Gentry is most effective as a middle of the field receiver where his ball skills, hands and ability to extend and already massive catch radius frequently shows up. Limited athletic ability and leverage challenges do temper his next level projection, but Gentry has some appeal in sub packages as a TE 2/3.”

Benny Snell Jersey

Benny Snell, Pittsburgh’s fourth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is extremely happy that he will begin his professional football career with the Steelers. Kentucky’s all-time career rushing leader said just that during an interview with 93.7 The Fan on Friday.

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The 5’11, 223-pound back rushed for 3,873 yards and 48 touchdowns while averaging 5.3 yards per carry during his time with the Wildcats. He saved one of his best college performances for last, rushing for 144 yards and two scores on 26 carries to help lift his Kentucky Wildcats to a 27-24 victory over Penn State in the 2019 Citrus Bowl. Snell won offensive MVP honors for his performance.

“I felt like I was made to be a Steeler,” Snell said. “It was just right. It feels right. This is my type of football and the fit was just perfect. I feel that I’ve been in a lot of situations, and the NFL is completely different, but I feel like I’ve had pressure on my shoulders on so many occasions that I became successful at the end of the game. Or I was able to get those tough yards, get the touchdown if needed, so I feel like whatever situation I’m put in, I’m going to try to give my best so we can have the best outcome.”
What does Snell expect to bring to Pittsburgh’s offense in 2019?

“I try not to let one guy tackle me so running people over and getting those tough yards is just kind of natural to me,” Snell said. “With me being the size that I am, I feel like I’m pretty stout as a pass blocker. Things are pretty different in the NFL so I’m going to have to adjust to that.”

Eddie Faulkner, who is entering his first year as Pittsburgh’s running backs coach, discussed the selection of Snell last weekend. He also talked about how he sees Snell fitting in the offense.

“I mean I think Benny provides a lot of depth,” Faulkner said. “He’s just a good football player. In my experience, when you have a roster of good football players, and guys who come everyday and put it to work, I mean he’s going to bring that to the equation. When you have that passion of love for football, they’re going to be willing to contribute in whatever capacity that they can. Not just in the running back room, but with Danny Smith, in special teams, and things in that nature. Again, very excited in what he brings, and we added another great football player to the roster.”

Snell also confirmed his desire to wear No. 26, the number previously worn in Pittsburgh by Le’Veon Bell.

“I came in, I kind of was thinking I might want to do the fresh start thing and not grab 26,” he said. “But I feel like 26 is something I can inherit, so we can forget about the past. This is a new beginning for the team. They’re kinda rookie’ing me for my number right now, but I can say it’s going to be a 20 number, for sure, and you know, I’m just taking it slow.”

Mark Stoops, Snell’s head coach at Kentucky, believes that Snell’s underdog mentality will continue to serve him well at the next level.

“Benny is going to be successful because that is just the way he is wired and he is going to work really hard,” Stoops said in the week leading up to the draft. “That is a great mentality to have because those yards are tough to come by in the SEC — and look at the success he has had — and they are hard to come by in the NFL. You need a player like that.”