Eric Ebron   TE/WR   North Carolina

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

STRENGTHS
Eric has the athletic talent to play more than one position on offense for the team that drafts him. He has the athletic ability to be the next great tight end and he also has the skills and talent to be an Anquan Boldin type wide receiver. He has excellent size and lateral agility and the speed equal to the average wide receiver. He has good strong hands to fight for, and snatch, the ball in the air and excellent body control to adjust to the ball in the air like a receiver in order to make the difficult catch. Eric is a matchup nightmare in the red zone because of his size and natural strength. In the middle of the field, because of his long strides and his ability to change gears, he can catch the deep ball on the outside or down the slot and make a ton of run after the catch yardage. He is smart and understands when to settle down against zone coverage and has the size and strength to muscle in and out of his routes against single coverage. Eric is a weapon and once he decides to get serious about improving his overall game he could become the type of receiver you build your offensive game plan around.

CONCERNS
Right now Eric is doing everything on athletic talent and has to realize that for the next level that will not be enough. He plays to the competition, is a lazy inconsistent blocker and runs lazy routes. Instead of using his speed to run sharp, crisp routes against single coverage, he uses muscle and pushing off to get separation. He loves to go up against zone coverage because he can just settle down and expect the ball without giving much effort running the route. He likes to run crossing routes because of his long strides that give him excellent separation the longer the route is across the field. Eric has to decide if he wants to be a Tight End or a Wide Receiver. He has the talent to do both, but right now lacks the enthusiasm and work ethic on every play in his blocking and route running to be a consistent full time starter at either position.

BOTTOM LINE
I really like this kidís potential to play at the next level, but his work ethic scares me. I think he could become a receiver very much like the 49erís Anquan Boldin but Iím not convinced the Eric wants to be a ďhand on the groundĒ tight end. I think he wants to be a slot receiver who can move outside depending on the down and distance. Eric has the speed, hands and lateral agility to be a very good wide receiver but he has to learn the wide receiver route tree and learn to run his routes much better than he does right now. Pushing off to get separation will work some of the time, but if Eric doesnít start using his ability to change gears and run better routes he will be stuck as a specialty receiver used only in two tight end sets Ė a receiver who is not on the field enough to impact. But maybe thatís all he wants to be? Eric has the ability, talent, skills to be an impact player and maybe a franchise player, but he just has to get his head out of his buttocks and work a lot harder to become more consistent in every phase of his game no matter what position he finally decides he wants to play. Maybe all he needs is a change of scenery or better coaching that will hold him more accountable. I know one thing -- throwing money at a kid with this much talent who shows on the field to be as inconsistent in the details of playing his posiiton is a gamble. Then again, sometimes gambles pay off big time. You be the judge.

Drew Boylhart
DEC/2013