Steelers Take Michigan TE Zach Gentry in 5th Round

Recruited as a QB, Gentry brings size to TE position

Josh Rowntree
April 27, 2019 - 2:19 pm
Michigan Wolverines tight end Zach Gentry (83) reacts after getting a first down against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field.

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have selected Michigan tight end Zach Gentry with the third pick of the fifth round. 

Gentry, recruited to the Wolverines as a quarterback, will be one of the largest players in the Steelers’ locker room, at 6-foot-8, 262 pounds. 

“He’s a good football player, long frame,” said Steelers tight end coach James Daniel. “He’s a guy that we’re excited about getting in and getting to work with.”

In 2018, Gentry caught 32 passes for 514 yards and two touchdowns. He was a Third Team All-Big Ten selection. Despite starting his collegiate career as a passer, Daniel thinks Gentry is completely ready for the next level.

“He was a quarterback, so I’d say he’s more adept at the receiving end of it,” Daniel said. “He’s got some adjusting to do to be a good blocker. But I think the kid is excited and willing.”

“I think I’m there,” gentry said. “I worked a lot in the offseason to build my frame and get myself stronger. But I’m looking forward to seeing what they say in Pittsburgh for what they think I need to do to my body to improve myself.”

Gentry had another year of eligibility remaining at Michigan, but declared for the NFL Draft early. 

“The position I played my entire life was quarterback,” he said. “But, when I sat down with (Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh), he laid out for me what he thought would be best for my future with my body frame.”

The decision paid off. Gentry will now be asked to help fill the void left when Jesse James departed for Detroit in free agency. He’ll join projected starter Vance McDonald and Xavier Grimble as the most likely tight ends to make the 53 man roster. 

“We’ll see when we get him out there on the grass,” Daniel said. “He’s got talent though, so we’ll see how he fits in.”

Hear from new Steelers TE Zach Gentry and TE coach James Daniel below.