Steelers acquire tight end Vance McDonald from 49ers

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin scouted Vance McDonald before the 2013 NFL draft and liked what he saw from the big tight end. Though San Francisco grabbed McDonald in the second round that spring, Tomlin kept tabs on McDonald, monitoring his progress from afar.

Tomlin’s view will be considerably better going forward. The Steelers acquired McDonald from the rebuilding 49ers on Tuesday, sending a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft to San Francisco for the 27-year-old McDonald and a fifth-round selection next spring.

“He’s an NFL-capable tight end, another guy to add to that mix and some competition there,” Tomlin said. “We’ll quickly get him up to speed.”

McDonald has struggled with drops during his career but caught 24 passes for San Francisco in 2016, setting career highs with 391 yards receiving and four touchdowns. He’ll join a group that includes Jesse James, who was anointed the starter when the Steelers released Ladarius Green in March after one injury-marred season.

James and Xavier Grimble have had uneven training camps. James missed a blocking assignment in last weekend’s loss to Indianapolis, leading to a sequence that ended with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being strip-sacked. Grimble made a leaping touchdown grab in the second half but has yet to make significant inroads on James. There’s a direct

Article source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2017/08/29/steelers-acquire-tight-end-vance-mcdonald-from-49ers/105083722/

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