NFL Draft Prospect Profile: TE Eric Ebron

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Eric Ebron
TE Eric Ebron

Packers prospect profile:  TE Eric Ebron

Player Information:

Eric Ebron, TE  North Carolina,  6-4, 250 pounds  Hometown: Greensboro, NC

STATS

NFL Combine:

40 time: 4.60

Vertical jump: 32″

225 lb. bench: 24 reps

Broad jump: 10′

News and Notes:

Second-team All-American in 2013. . . semi-finalist for Mackey award (most outstanding tight end in college football). . . had 973 receiving yards in 2013, breaking Vernon Davis’ ACC record. . . started at least one game in all four years at North Carolina. . . was second-leading receiver on the team during his sophomore season

What they’re saying about him: 

  • CBSSports.com:  Smooth, gliding athlete with easy acceleration to speed past defenders in coverage and finish. Agile feet and dangerous after the catch to create with quick cuts to make defenders miss. Quick release off the LOS with route fluidity and natural flexibility. Smooth adjustments to pluck the ball with his hands away from his body – large catching radius. Physical when he wants as a blocker with strong initial power at the point of attack. Very good toughness and plays unintimidated and confident. Good football awareness and plays alert. Versatile experience lining up in-line, but mostly in the slot – also plays on special teams coverage. Still far from his ceiling. Still developing his body with room to add bulk and get stronger. Still learning how to use his size to his advantage. Needs to show more authority in his routes and is too easily redirected – needs to be more physical in this area to match up in tight spaces. Needs to be more aggressive and strong at the catch point, especially in contested situations. Has his share of focus drops and needs to be more consistent finishing catches. Good length, but won’t overwhelm defenders in the run game. Blocking technique needs developing – somewhat untested as an in-line blocker. Room to refine and sharpen his routes. Right shoulder injury in 2013.
  • NFL.com:  Outstanding athletic ability and receiving skills. Threatens every level. Advanced route runner. Releases cleanly and accelerates into patterns. Pierces the seam and is a mismatch vs. man coverage — regularly bested defensive backs. Terrific balance, agility and body control. Catches cleanly off his frame. Makes one-handed grabs look routine. Big catch radius. Catches on the move and has an extra gear to pile up yards. Will be a 21-year-old rookie. Lacks ideal height and bulk. Can improve as a blocker, both in-line and on the move — could stand to improve technique, physicality and finish. Not equipped to lock horns with NFL defensive ends. Inconsistent adjusting to and fitting on moving targets. Blocking effort does not parallel that of receiving. Could stand to play with more consistent intensity and focus. Occasional concentration drop. Ordinary touchdown production. Cannot be used as a fullback.

Video:

Video Analysis:

  • As I always disclaim, this is a “highlight” reel.  For a more comprehensive look (12 minutes long), here is another video of Ebron vs. Duke this past season:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ7E3NbfVTo
  • Lined up in the slot majority of the time at UNC and very fluid in his routes off the line of scrimmage
  • Good runner after the catch and appears quicker than his 40 time indicates.  Picked up additional yardage on short passes
  • Seemingly good hands and made a few nice one-handed catches
  • Nothing jumps off the tape on his blocking, which is already described as a need area for Ebron. He was badly beaten on a few occasions
  • Did play on special teams in college but was nothing special.  Had a few block in the back penalties.  Blocking is not his forte
  • Caught a few balls in traffic and seems to concentrate well
  • He kind of reminds you of a tight end who was most recently in Green Bay and similar in size, doesn’t he?

If drafted by the Packers:

Ebron would have to be Green Bay’s first-round pick if he’s coming to the Packers.  He won’t last far into round two if he does happen to slip out of the first.  His athletic ability has him touted as one of the best tight ends in this upcoming draft.  While his measurables seem impressive to you and I, they are not any more than average at the NFL level.  Still and as I mention above, I see a little bit of Jermichael Finley in Ebron when watching him.  He is also compared to San Francisco’s Vernon Davis, but I don’t see Ebron playing as “big” as Davis does.  Ebron would keep that presence alive down the middle in the passing game.  His blocking would need to improve greatly and especially if he is not ideal coming out of the backfield, where the Packers like to use their tight ends.  He won’t be a good contributor right away on special teams which is something head coach Mike McCarthy likes to use his young guys for, especially his tight ends.  If the Packers take Ebron, they see him as their tight end of the future and a replacement for what Finley was and was supposed to be.  He needs some work and development but he seems to have that ability to grow.  The Packers are no strangers to a tight end with tons of potential.

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Jason Perone is an independent sports blogger writing about the Packers on AllGreenBayPackers.com

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  • http://www.lyrictrumpet.com Bearmeat

    He’ll be at the very least a GOOD NFL player. I don’t see him as the next VD or Gronk. I’d rather get S/ILB help in round 1 and take whomever is left of Sefarian-Jenkins/Amaro in round 2. Perhaps CJ Fed-what’s his name in round 3/4.

    IMHO Quarless can hold down the fort next year (as long as Lacy stays a threat in the middle and Cobb stays healthy) and we can pick a TE not quite as high and give him time to develop.

    Mosley/1 of the top 4 FS’s please Teddy.

  • Jake

    I believe CJ Fed is more realistic. A 1st round TE is too much of a luxury for a defense that still needs to be restocked.

    Amaro would be nice but only in the 2nd or 3rd round.

    Sefarian Jenkins looks painfully slow and reminds me of a slower Leonard Pope.

  • Wagszilla

    I know Al said that this guy has an attitude but a TE like him could really bring the Packers’ offense together.

    You’ll have your power threat up the middle of the field with Lacy, Starks, Ebron and then have some speed on the edges.

    I personally hope they snag Mosley but Ebron could be interesting.

  • Mike Sherman

    No way do they go TE in round 1, not with our defensive holes

    • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

      Matthews, Hayward, Peppers, Guion, and Perry without a broken bone in his foot will go a long way in helping fix this defense. Granted ILB and S are still needs, but I’d have much more faith in Micah Hyde playing Safety than M.D. Jennings. That guy drove me nuts!

      • Stroh

        I like the Guion signing, but I certainly wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that he is going to be one of the players that is most likely to change the Packers Defensive fourtunes. He’ll be a good role player at most, if he even makes the roster.

  • Bob Dylan

    If we had addressed the d woes, it would have been nice to have the luxury of giving AR another playmaker. Reality is, Peppers will certainly help, but how can we not take a safety in rd 1? Hyde’s a maybe and Burnett’s even more of a maybe. Still need LB help and DL as well. Think Ted should have done a little more with all that $ he had to spend

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      how can you not take a safety? Easily. if there is no safety available worthy of a first round pick, you don’t do it.

  • GBPDAN

    Switching gears….is anyone disappointed that Newhouse signed with Cincinnati? ….lol

  • Magic

    Why isn’t Ebron a possibility in 1? Yes, we need a safety, but there’s about 4-5 teams ahead of the Pack that are also looking at addressing the positron as well. Should Pryor by some miracle fall to us do you really want a 5’11″ rookie who is better in the box than at pass coverage be responsible for Megatron and the Bears big receivers?

    Even Mosely, everyone’s new favorite choice, is certainly not going to be a Luke Kuechly and the fact that he played on a stacked Alabama defense along with his injury history just leads me to worry about another 1st rounder sitting on the bench (joining Bulaga, Sherrod, Perry)

    There is absolutely no reason this pick cannot be an offensive skill position. Especially with the outlandish amount of potential in rounds 2-3 this year.

    • Stroh

      Ebron is a possibility IMO, he’ll likely be gone by the Packers pick. Even that being the case I would take Clinton-Dix, Mosley, Shazier and possibly Hageman before I would take Ebron.

      With Lacy in the backfield he’ll draw a lot of the attention that Finley used to, probably more. So a playmaking TE isn’t needed as much now. A QB’s best friend is a running game before it is a TE. Lacy will do more for the passing game than even a very good TE does, by holding the LB for an extra second and drawing the safeties out of 2 deep looks.

  • Dobber

    The thinking that you ignore a playmaker or difference maker in the draft just because you have focused so strongly on 2-3 other positions is the same kind of thinking that would have had the Packers pass on ARod.

  • Archie

    If Ebron is on the board at 21 he will be a Packer. Mosely is falling out of R1 in many mocks. Would be another major blunder on defense by TT if he is the pick.

    I don’t believe Ebron, Dix or Pryor will still be there at 21 so unless TT trades up, we will be drafting a DL or a WR. Ealy would be the DE/OLB and the WR could be Beckham.

  • Archie

    In 2010 draft T could have had the following players:

    1. Dez Bryant/DeMarius Thomas
    2. Sean Lee
    3. Jimmy Graham

    Instead, TT accomplished the following:

    1. let DEN trade in from of them for Thomas, passed on Bryant and took the injury plagued, OK talent, Bryan Bulaga.

    2. Let DAL trade in front of them for Sean Lee and reached for Mike Neal.

    3. Traded from 23rd pick in R3 to 8th pick in R3 to nab Morgan Burnett. Had they sat still, Jimmy Graham would have been there for the taking.

    NOTE: With the pick surrendered in the Morgan Burnett trade, they gave up the opportunity to draft the great DT Gino Atkins in R4, two picks above where they sat.

    4 great players we could have had: Bryant/Thomas;Sean Lee; Jimmy Graham; and, Gino Atkins. Instead, TT gives us Bulaga, Neal and Burnett. Makes you wonder how anybody could claim TT is a good evaluator of talent.

  • Brooklyn81

    Colt Lyerla!!!!

  • http://allpackers.com Nick Perry

    Hindsight’s 20/20 isn’t it Archie? I mean how hard is it to go back and look at drafts and say “We could have drafted that guy”. When Neal took off the additional 20 or so pounds last year he stayed somewhat healthy and was pretty damn effective. What about trading back in Rd. 1 and grabbing Matthews in 2009 and trading back into Rd. 2 to grab Hayward? Last year trading back in the 2nd round and STILL drafting Lacy and getting Bakhatieri, Tretter, and Franklin in the 4th. How about Hyde in the 5th? I’m no “In Ted We Trust” guy but like ANY GM, he has hit hits and misses.

  • Pete Kliman

    In a draft filled with TE and our needs on D, I don’t get a good feeling with Ebron. Reminds me too much of Finley. He can’t block and is too flashy. Give me a grinder that can block,stay on the field,and make the catches. I agree with Stroh. We finally have a good running game that could be great.

    • Dobber

      I tend to agree. Very little of this guy says TE to me…it says oversized WR. If that’s what you want, you can get big WR who run just as well later in the draft and also get a multipurpose TE who will help make your run game go…later in the draft.

      That means your first-round pick can address other needs or potentially be traded off to stockpile day 2 picks if you can find a dance partner.

  • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

    A quote from a scout on Ebron’s personality: “Makes Terrell Owens look like the Pope.”

    • Stroh

      Wooo… That’s SCARY! Even more convinced now I don’t want him in Rd 1.