Believe it or not, the NFL draft is this week. In the words of Kurt Angle, “Oh it’s true. It’s true.”
In three short days, the Texans will be officially on the clock and the draft will be underway. At approximately 9:50 P.M. ET this Thursday (if they don’t trade their pick), the Ravens will be making their first round selection.
Could that selection be Eric Ebron? Two of the four tight ends on the Ravens’ roster have played in a NFL game (Dennis Pitta, Owen Daniels), and both of those players have had to deal with recent serious injuries. So, taking Ebron, even though there are more pressing needs, wouldn’t be the worst thing for the franchise.
His measurables stack up against any tight end in the draft and he looks to be just scratching the surface of his football potential. Will that potential thrive? Or will it wilt under the pressure of performing as a NFL player?
Eric Ebron, TE, UNC
- Height: 6’4″
- Weight: 250 pounds
- Bench reps of 225 pounds: 24
- 40-yard dash: 4.60 seconds (2nd among tight ends)
- Broad jump: 10’0″ (3rd among tight ends)
- Last season: 62 receptions, 973 yards (15.7 yard average), 3 TD
Pros: Ebron does many things well. He separates from press and knows where to sit down against zone. He knows how to lean and break off routes and made many catches in traffic. Once he gets into the open field, he glides. He isn’t just a pass catching tight end, though. He’s lines up as much in-line as he does in the slot and is an above average blocker. He’ll rotate his hips to wall off defenders. He competes on every snap.
Cons: Although it was according to UNC’s game plan, Ebron didn’t run a lot of different routes. Most of the routes he ran were shallow crosses or stick routes, with the occasional post sprinkled in. From time to time he will get overwhelmed at the point of attack.
Why the Ravens would select him: When I watch Ebron on film, he reminds me of Pitta. They both block better and are tougher than people give them credit for. They can do a variety of things to help your offense. It’s also worth noting that Baltimore’s tight end position is lacking depth right now, so adding Ebron would bolster that group. Adding Ebron would also give Joe Flacco another red zone target (Baltimore ranked 25th in the league last year with 19 receiving touchdowns).
Projected position with the Ravens: In-line tight end. Although he often lined up at slot receiver in college, I think Ebron should start at tight end in the NFL, so as to solidify his blocking technique. This would allow Pitta to remain in his role as H-back (in-motion tight end)/3rd down slot receiver.