Eric Ebron, the 6-4, 245 pound tight end out of North Carolina certainly has a future in the NFL. The larger question is how bright of a future? Ebron finished his career at Chapel Hill as the most accomplished tight end in the school’s history. He led the Tar Heels in 2013 with 62 receptions for 973 yards and also set all-time records with 112 career receptions and 1,805 yards at the position. This was all accomplished in three years as Ebron decided to forego his fourth year of eligibility to test his skills at the highest level of football.
But to ask the question ‘is he the best prospect at the position since Vernon Davis’ certainly puts Ebron in rare waters. There is no question the NFL is seeing more teams adopt multiple tight end formations and the need to have an oversized pass-catching tight end may be at an all-time premium for teams.
Ebron is described as having agile feet and is said to be “very dangerous after the catch”. Although a very large man, the tight end has lateral quickness and the ability to cut on a dime, making him a nightmare match-up for linebackers in coverage. At UNC, the Tar Heel had experience lining up in-line, in the slot, and played his fair share of special team coverage as well. His 4.67 40 yard dash time is nothing to sneeze at but pales in comparison to the speed shown by Vernon Davis during his combine workouts. (4.38)
Eric Ebron unquestionably has the freakish athletic build and ability which translates into the NFL but it is believed he must improve his run-blocking, route-running, as well as continue to grow into his massive frame. He will certainly create mismatches in the secondary but whether he reaches his full potential in the NFL likely will be determined by how much growth he has as a pro. Potential is just that – unrealized opportunity. Can he be one of the best tight ends in the game? Certainly. Will he? Now that is the question General Managers around the league must be asking themselves.