In the span of a year, David Paulson has turned from a raw seventh-round project into an impact player for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Pro Bowl tight end Heath Miller out indefinitely as he recovers from knee surgery, Paulson will play a larger role in the passing game.
Paulson caught seven passes for 51 yards a year ago in spot duty, but has showcased his downfield ability early in training camp.
The Steelers selected Paulson with 240th pick in the NFL draft. They were impressed by his soft hands in Oregon's wide-open offense, but knew it would take time for him to improve as a blocker.
The lean 6-foot-4 Paulson weighs 246 pounds, though tight ends coach James Daniel says Paulson's technique allows him to be competitive against bigger defensive players.
Paulson said he knows he needs to become more well-rounded if he wants to become an every-down player in the NFL.