North Carolina's Eric Ebron may very well be the first tight end off the board in the 2014 NFL draft, but he hit a bit of a speed bump during his workout at the NFL combine on Saturday.
According to Bleacher Report's Dan Hope via NFL.com, Ebron suffered a hamstring injury during his second 40-yard dash attempt:
Eric Ebron told http://t.co/GHvdFP18dp that he pulled his hamstring running his FIRST 40 (still ran a 4.50 unofficial on his second).— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) February 22, 2014
Incredibly, NFL Network is reporting that Ebron still unofficially clocked in at 4.50 seconds, which is a time that rivals most wide receivers and running backs:
Back-to-back unofficial 4.50 40-times for Eric Ebron. #NFLCombine— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 22, 2014
Not surprisingly, Ebron's showing impressed a lot of people, including Bleacher Report's Matt Bowen:
#UNC TE Eric Ebron (6-4, 250) posted a 4.50 40 time... No. 1 TE in '14 class can be a matchup issue for safeties at the NFL level.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 22, 2014
There is no word on how significant the injury is, but Ebron decided to forego the gauntlet workout, per Josh Norris of Rotoworld.com:
Ebron is not running the Gauntlet, it appears.— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 22, 2014
With Ebron's draft stock presumably at an all-time high following his unreal performance in the 40, remaining cautious is likely the smartest thing he can do.
Ebron entered the combine with plenty of confidence, and he did an excellent job selling himself to potential suitors as evidenced by his comments to Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com.
I play the tight end role like no one else ... Every team wants a complete tight end, an all-purpose tight end, not just one that can run down the seam and catch passes. They want one that can block too. I tell them that I've been working hard at it, which I have, and I'm not bad at it, which everyone thinks.
Ebron's injury could potentially throw up some red flags as far as some NFL teams are concerned, but pulled hamstrings are fairly common football injuries. Provided Ebron doesn't press the issue or do anything crazy, it shouldn't be a big factor come draft day.
His 40 time suggests that he could immediately be the most explosive tight end in the NFL upon entering the league, and that is a scary thought considering the presence of players like Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis and Jordan Cameron among others.
The tight end position has evolved in recent years with speed and athleticism taking precedence, so Ebron will be a hot commodity no matter what.
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