All 90 is a Pittsburgh Steelers Now series profiling each of the 90 members of the Steelers 2021 offseason roster.
85 • Eric Ebron, eighth-year tight end
6-foot-4, 253 pounds
Acquired: Signed by the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent on March 30, 2020.
Last season: Played in 15 games and made nine starts in his first season in Pittsburgh, amassing 558 yards and five touchdowns on 56 catches.
Career: Ebron was drafted No. 10 overall by the Detroit Lions in 2014, and played four seasons in Detroit, where he showed promise, but generally failed to live up to the expectations of his draft slot.
He moved on Indianapolis in 2018 and set career highs with 66 catches for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns. A second season with the Colts was less fruitful, with his role being cut nearly in half in 2019.
College: Set basically every tight end record at North Carolina in three seasons. Owned the Tar Heels’ mark for single-season and career receptions and receiving yards as a tight end. Ebron was a two-time All-ACC selection.
Camp outlook: There’s no question that Ebron will be the Steelers’ starting tight end when he’s healthy. The question is how heavily he’ll be relied upon.
Ebron played in 69.6% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps in 2020, and with Vance McDonald, who played 44.1% of the time, hanging up his cleats, Ebron is probably in line for the lion’s share of the additional reps, especially at the beginning of the season, while second-round pick Pat Freiermuth gets his feet wet.
But Ebron struggled in run blocking in 2020, and with offensive coordinator Matt Canada frequently mentioning a mandate from ownership to be better at running the ball, Ebron might not gain as much of a role as it appears he will.
Future: Ebron’s contract will automatically void after the 2021 season, making him a free agent. The Steelers will absorb nearly $7 million in dead cap hit from Ebron’s contract in 2021.
The rest of the 90: