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Michigan TE Zach Gentry selected by Pittsburgh Steelers in fifth round of NFL draft

Gentry caught 49 passes for 817 yards in final two college seasons

Zach Gentry celebrates a first down catch while playing SMU on Sept. 15, 2018, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected former Michigan tight end Zach Gentry in the fifth round of the NFL draft.

Gentry was drafted with the No. 141 overall pick. He was the fifth Michigan player selected, behind linebacker Devin Bush, defensive linemen Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich, and cornerback David Long.

Jim Harbaugh recruited Gentry as a four-star quarterback from New Mexico and quickly converted him to tight end. While the move drew criticism at first, it worked out for Gentry, who is now on an NFL roster.

Gentry didn't play much in 2016 as he adapted to his new position, but once he became part of the offense in 2017, his 6-foot-8-inch frame made him a mismatch for defenders.

Over the last two seasons, Gentry caught 49 passes for 817 yards and four touchdowns. He was one of Shea Patterson's favorite targets last season.

Zach Gentry of the Michigan Wolverines makes a 25-yard reception for a first down against Markus Bailey of the Purdue Boilermakers to set up a 4th quarter touchdown in a game at Ross-Ade Stadium on Sept. 23, 2017. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Gentry has a chance to be a very good professional tight end, but he was selected so late because he's an unfinished product.

Gentry has the size to be a dangerous red zone target, but he only caught four touchdown passes in 26 games the last two seasons. Michigan didn't have a lot of receiving touchdowns, but Gentry was often a nonfactor in goal line passing situations.

He also dropped some important passes late last season, particularly in the Ohio State game. Drops weren't a major issue for Gentry throughout his career, and his hands will improve as he continues to adapt to the position.

Developing Gentry will certainly be a project, but he has a high ceiling and could be a great weapon in the passing game before his professional career ends.

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About the Author:

Derick Hutchinson

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications and a focus in journalism. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.