Dulac was on yesterday and said the Steelers are really looking for an offensive play maker in round one. He said they are in LOVE with Patterson (size, ability to take it to the house) and that Haley is really pushing for Eifert. He said they really want a big target (which doesn't really make sense, what if the smaller target is a more productive player?).
Reason I'm posting this is Dulac's been pretty close in the past with predicting who they would take. I'm completely on the Eifert bandwagon, I just think he can contribute immediately and would make a scary combo with Heath once healthy for at least a few years. Not sold on Patterson. I would also love one of the elite guards in round 1.
Anyone else thing Jone's age (23) factors into the selection? Seems like Tomlin likes younger guys (Timmons was 20 when drafted). I dunno, the spinal issue just scares me at this point, they really can't afford this year's pick to bust out with an injury.
Age almost certainly factors, regardless of what the FO says - for R1 guys at least. Both Patterson and Eifert are 22, FWIW. I've spoken my peace on Jones. No at 17, no in R1. He'll be a productive player elsewhere, maybe. Patterson is a gamechanger for sure. Give him the piggy on those stupid end-arounds that haven't worked for about a decade now, and suddenly they do work. Big boy can take kicks. Once he's got the ball, he's a threat to break it off and score. Issue, of course, is getting the ball: he's smart enough to tackle the Wendy's menu, but a pro playbook will take a while; you round off routes in the pros, you give the other team a pick-6; maybe his hands get better through reps. In any event, could be another Wallace, give or take - better size, more flexibility, but probably longer learning curve IMO.
Eifert is solid but unspectacular. Seems to be in the Heath/Witten mold, and has the ability to make the tough catches. Reliable. Needs to thicken up to take on rushers, and would be a nice co-TE threat/tall WR. I'm not sure I see a guy who's going to regularly rack up 800+ yards, but maybe. I guess I'm warming to him somewhat, I just don't see explosive speed and separation, although he works the sidelines well and does make the tough catch in traffic. And ND didn't have shit for receivers in 2012, so it was pretty obvious where the ball was going.
Bottom line: Patterson = higher ceiling, lower floor; Eifert the safer bet.