Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs after a catch during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Overview: I’ve been covering a lot of defensive players so far, so I thought it would be fun to mix things up and do a profile on an offensive player. Eric Ebron was an explosive offensive weapon for the Tar Heels this season, catching 62 passes for an ACC single season record for a tight end of 973 yards. He had 3 touchdowns. The 21-year-old was also a semifinalist for the John Mackey Award, given each year to the best tight end in the nation.
- Shows some nice wiggle. Regularly makes the first defender miss, racking up tons of YAC and making it look easy.
- Catches the Ball away from his body. Uses proper catching technique and uses his hands rather than his body to make the play.
- Big hands lead to spectacular catches. His 10 inch hands allow him to palm the football in one hand and it shows up on game day.
- Good catching radius. Uses his 33 1/4 inch arms well and snatches the ball out of the air, helping the quarterback when he throws the ball off target.
- Matchup nightmare. Too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs.
- Not a good blocker. Needs to improve technique and show more effort.
- Struggles with concentration drops. Doesn’t always track the ball well, leading to missing catches he should make.
- Tries to one-hand the ball too often. Just because you are capable of making one-handed grabs doesn’t mean you should go for them all the time.
- Needs to play through the whistle. Gives up a little too easily when the play doesn’t go the way he planned.
NFL Player Comparison: Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers. As Bears fans, you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying to yourselves, “Didn’t we just get rid of one of those?” You’re right, but that was when Mike Martz was the offensive coordinator and didn’t use tight ends as receivers very often. Can you imagine what Marc Trestman and the current coaching staff could do with a player with Olsen’s receiving ability? You might find out if the Bears take Eric Ebron with the 14th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Both players are good athletes with strong receiving skills, and questionable blockers.
The Way I See It: You might think there is zero chance that the Bears make this pick since Martellus Bennett played so well last season, but it’s actually not that crazy. Remember last year when Phil Emery said that the team would like to utilize two pass catching tight ends? There were even some rumors that the Bears might take one in the first round. They didn’t and a second threat at the tight end position never materialized. Perhaps Eric Ebron could be that guy.