Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina (HT: 6'4", WT: 245 lbs)
- Incredible athleticism that far exceeds that of a typical tight end prospect.
- Elite speed for a tight end, making him a viable downfield threat in certain matchups.
- Speed and agility are rare and make him more dangerous than the average tight end in the open field.
- More than just a possession receiver, like most elite pass-catching tight ends.
- Acceleration is elite, making him a difficult matchup for most linebackers without attention from safeties to keep him from getting over the top of the defense.
- Route running is smooth, and he has the quickness in his cuts to gain a step on more athletic coverage linebackers and safeties.
- Has the size to be dominant when battling for contested catches once he refines his technique.
- Hands are fairly consistent.
- Has the athleticism to make difficult catches in traffic and along the sideline.
- Shows impressive body control when adjusting to poorly thrown passes.
- Experienced lining up in the slot and on the line.
- Showed consistent development throughout his career.
- Gives a strong effort as a blocker.
- Fights hard as a blocker even when he's overmatched.
- Height is only average for today's new breed of pass-catching tight ends.
- Plays smaller than his measurements.
- Needs to learn how to use his size to his advantage when matched up against smaller linebackers and safeties.
- Plays too much like a finesse receiver, which may not make him a great fit for what every offensive scheme wants from its tight end.
- Too passive in his approach to contested targets.
- Tends to let the ball come to him rather than being more assertive and going up to get the ball when in tight coverage.
- He'll struggle competing for 50/50 balls at the next level with his current approach.
- Majority of his drops are uncontested passes and simply due to a lack of focus.
- Lacks the strength to dominate as a blocker.
- Particularly struggles when he's forced to engage with more physical edge-rushers and often gets walked back into the backfield.
NFL Comparison: Julius Thomas, TE, Denver Broncos
- Missed 2011 bowl game for academic reasons.
- Relatively young for a draft prospect; he turns 21 in April.
- First-team All-ACC selection in 2013.
- 2013 finalist for the John Mackey Award.
Ebron has the tools to be an elite pass-catching tight end, but he's still fairly raw. He lacks the elite size to excel immediately at the next level with his inconsistent technique. Ebron will make plays as a rookie based on athleticism alone, but it will take a year or two for him to reach his full potential. At this point in time, Ebron plays like a wide receiver without any concept of how to use his size to his advantage. Once he becomes more aggressive and masters the technique of being more effective as a possession receiver, he could become one of the most well-rounded pass-catching tight ends in the game.
Draft Projection: first round