Gavin Escobar   TE   San Diego St

TALENT BOARD ROUND  3

 

STRENGTHS

Gavin has a natural skill that most wide receivers would love to have.  He not only can catch a ball better than most receivers in this draft, he does it with the softest pair of hands that you can imagine.  His hands are so soft, I suspect dairy cows would fight for him to caress an udder and be milked the old fashioned way.  He has long arms and the athletic ability to adjust to the ball in the air.  He will go and catch the ball high in the air, which makes him a match-up nightmare in the red zone.  He has long legs and length in the body that will make it very difficult to defend him in the middle of the field because Gavin is the type of receiver who is open when he is not open.  By that I mean, you don't wait for Gavin to be open when he runs his route.  You just throw the ball to Gavin at some point in his zip code and he will find a way to be open by the time the ball gets to him.  Gavin is a weapon and, used as an on-the-move receiver, I think this kid could be a sleeper impact pick for the team that understands that Gavin's main reason to be on the field is to catch the ball.      

 

CONCERNS

Gavin is not a very good blocker and it has nothing to do with his effort.  His effort when blocking is excellent.  His body type and his lack of lateral agility make it very hard for Gavin to block in space.  His long legs and arms make it very hard for him to be an effective in line blocker.  I don't see him being able to improve his blocking at the next level, but he can become effective if he is not asked to do too much.  Gavin also lacks the foot speed, quickness and explosion off the line, and in and out of his breaks to be anything more that a slot receiver.  The truth is your not drafting Gavin because he is fast or quick or explosive, you are drafting him because he has this strange and yet wonderful talent to catch the ball when it is thrown anywhere in his zip code. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Don't bother drafting Gavin if you think he is going to be faster or quicker or run routes better than he does right now because it's not going to happen.  Draft Gavin because he can catch the ball and make plays in the passing game when others are being shut down.  Gavin will be an impact player if he can work with a quarterback who is willing to throw the ball to him when it looks like he is not open. He will impact with a quarterback who believes in getting the ball out on time and looking for matchups in size that favor Gavin.  Gavin reminds me a lot of Dwight Clark former 49er's receiver.  Dwight was open when he wasn't open, and when you threw the ball in his zip code, he caught it every time and that is the player Gavin's game and athletic talent reminds me of.  Gavin has that elegant way of catching the ball every time you throw the ball anywhere near him even if you don't think he is open.  If he is drafted by a team who has a quarterback who believes that, Gavin will become an impact player. 

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

March/2013