Earlier this week on CSR, we talked about the possibility of the Carolina Panthers selecting Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro in the first round of the NFL Draft. Although wide receiver is a much bigger roster need, adding a talented pass catching tight end like Amaro would still improve the offense, because it would add another receiving weapon to a Panthers offense that is severely lacking in weapons.
Although there is nothing at the moment that links Amaro to the Panthers, there is information that the Panthers have shown interest in another talented pass catching tight end -- UNC tight end Eric Ebron, who, according to David Newton of ESPN, met with the Panthers at the 2014 NFL Combine.
Eric Ebron is arguably the best tight end in this entire Draft class. His rare combination of size, speed and overall athleticism, along with his explosive play-making ability made him one of the most enjoyable players to watch in all of college football last season. CSR's Derek Leazer gave an excellent analysis of Ebron's college film, from his T.A.P back in October:
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.
Ebron is a consensus first round lock, and some Draft outlets even have him going in the top 10 picks. It's hard to see any scenario where Ebron slides out of the top 20 picks, so here's the question -- should the Panthers consider trading up for Ebron if the opportunity is there? If all it took was the Panthers first round pick at 28 and their second round pick to get into a position where they could take Ebron, would it be worth it for them to pull the trigger? For a rare talent like Ebron, it just might be.