Former Michigan tight end Zach Gentry will join his teammate, linebacker Devin Bush, in Pittsburgh.
Gentry was drafted by the Steelers with the 141st overall pick in the fifth round on Saturday, and was the Wolverines’ fifth player taken in the draft. The Steelers traded up in the first round to select Bush with the 10th overall pick. Rashan Gary also was a first-round pick, and Chase Winovich and David Long were taken in the third round Friday night.
“I’ve worked a lot in the offseason about building my frame a little bit and making myself strong,” Gentry told Pittsburgh reporters after being drafted. "I feel good about my body. I’m a big target, but I think i’ll be able to take some hits as well because of my size.”
It has been quite a journey for Gentry since arriving at Michigan as a highly regarded quarterback. He was converted to tight end with his 6-foot-8 frame and decided after the Peach Bowl to leave with a year of eligibility remaining.
ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper earlier this week said during a conference call that Gentry was “a little inconsistent at times with the hands, adjusting to some poorly thrown balls” and thought Gentry would be a late-round pick.
“Good football player, good frame,” Steelers tight ends coach James Daniel told reporters Saturday. “He’s a guy we’re excited to work with.”
Daniel said he saw Gentry at the NFL Combine, where he did not have a great performance, and also watched him a few weeks later at Michigan’s Pro Day. They had dinner together the night before pro day. He was asked how Gentry is as receiver.
“He was a quarterback, so I would say he’s probably more adept at the receiving end of it,” Daniel said. “He’s got some adjusting to do to become a good blocker. He’s got talent. We’ll see how he fits in when he gets here.”
Gentry finished his Michigan career with 49 receptions for 817 yards and four touchdowns over 33 games in three seasons.