Quick Facts: Tight End/ North Carolina Tar Heels/ Junior/ 6'4'' 245 lbs./ 40 yard Dash Low of 4.57 High of 4.79 Average of 4.67
With the college football season winding down, many potential draft prospects are starting to find themselves landing on mock draft boards. Numerous analysts feel that the Jets will attempt to use their pick to draft North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. The junior Tar Heel made news when he was added to the Mackey Award watch list. Ebron is an intriguing player who leaves a lot to be desired.
Coming out of high school, Ebron was given a 3 star rating by Rivals. As a senior Ebron was listed at 6'5" 225 lbs. (according to the University of North Carolina roster he is actually 6'4"). Ebron was praised for his size and athleticism. Ebron earned North Carolina All-State accolades as a senior. He received offers from West Virginia, Clemson, Arkansas and Virginia, but ultimately decided to stay in state and play at UNC.
As a true freshman, Ebron played in 10 games for the Tar Heels ranking fifth on the team in receptions. As a sophomore Ebron caught 40 passes for 625 yards and 4 touchdowns. His stat line for the 2013 season is impressive: 49 receptions, 763 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He leads the Tar Heels in receptions and receiving yards. His longest catch was a 71 yard reception against Miami. In that game he had 8 catches for 199 yards. Ebron shows clear growth and progression each year. NFL teams should be intrigued by his potential to keep on growing as a player.
Analysts praise Ebron for his athleticism. When paired with his size, it's a deadly combination. He has the ability to split out wide and physically over power corners on short routes. His size and power are bolstered by his aggressive play on the field. He is a solid blocker who uses all his tools to effectively block defenders. Given his speed, Ebron is a clear mismatch against most linebackers. He has the ability to stretch the seams and get open on deeper routes. Analysts have not yet been able to find a "major" flaw in Ebron's game. Some critique his blocking, saying that he needs to find consistency in his blocks. As long as he continues to perfect his athleticism, he can develop into a sure fire blocker.
It is clear that Ebron will be a highly touted draft prospect. His physical tools, athleticism, and instinct are all excellent traits that will leave NFL teams salivating on draft day. With time analysts will find flaws in Ebron's game, but at this point it's been difficult to do so.
It is tough to say how the rest of the Jets season will play out. The Jets have set the new standard for inconsistency. Depending on their draft pick they will need to make an executive decision on what is most needed. Ebron would definitely be a nice addition to Gang Green, but there are many other players that can help Rex Ryan's squad out.