When the Miami Hurricanes and North Carolina Tarheels battled against one another this past Thursday night in Chapel Hill, there were no less than thirty-seven NFL scouts and five NFL general managers in attendance. This isn't surprising when you consider the fact that there were two offensive tackles(James Hurst and Seantrel Henderson) on display who have the potential to be cornerstone first round picks. Of course, there were many other worthy prospects who were looking to raise their stock in the eyes of the talent evaluators, and some of them did. But none of them stood out more than number eighty-five.
Before Thursday night, Eric Ebron had at least a solid second round grade from every credible NFL scout. By the time the game had ended, his stock was soaring higher than maybe even he could have imagined. The Tarheel tight end's jaw-dropping performance was one for the ages. You don't believe me? Just ask the man himself.
"I feel like I played one of the best games a tight end ever played."
Indeed he did.
Consider this: Ebron finished with 199 receiving yards despite the fact that the Hurricanes had only given up an FBS leading 141 passing yards per game. When the Greensboro native wasn't breaking tackles on his way to a 71 yard touchdown, he was hauling in fingertip circus catches that seemed to become increasingly more difficult with each successive reception. It isn't as if Ebron's college career thus far has been quiet, but this performance was easily his most spectacular. Here are a couple of videos that give you an idea of how well he played in that game.
Eric Ebron Career Statistics
At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Ebron has all the tools to succeed at the next level. He possesses a gigantic catch radius and is a chain moving, red zone target who routinely makes the tough catches with defenders draped all other him. The twenty year old junior doesn't have Vernon Davis speed, but his wheels are good enough to leave linebackers and safeties chasing from behind. His strength is not only evident when receiving the ball in traffic, but also when blocking. Because of his exceptional receiving ability, this is perhaps the most underrated(by fans) part of his game. Ebron displays more than adequate power when locking onto a defender both in space and when in line blocking.
Personally, I wouldn't have a problem taking Ebron in the first round if they feel like a starting tackle will still be available with their second pick. I can only imagine all of the mismatch nightmares he and Greg Olsen would present to opposing defensive coordinators. I believe adding a formidable receiving and blocking threat like Ebron to this roster would expedite our franchise quarterback's growth tremendously and potentially take this offense to a place it hasn't been before. If this is the primary focus of Gettleman's offseason plans, then grabbing Ebron would be a good place to start.
Take a look at this awesome highlight video and tell us what you think CSR?