There’s no secret on May 8 that former North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron will be the top tight end prospect selected off the board in the 2014 NFL Draft. Many draft experts predict that Ebron will go off the board somewhere around the middle of the first round.
He measured 6-foot-4, 250 pounds at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, where he also ran a 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds. He has reportedly added some weight since his sophomore year in order to become more efficient blocker. With his astounding size and speed, Ebron has drawn many comparisons to Vernon Davis, which has left many NFL GMs and fantasy owners alike very excited to see him start his professional career.
Ebron’s athletic and physical gifts make him an enticing option for fantasy football. He will not be considered a top tight end in fantasy drafts just yet, but he can still be viewed as a valuable asset to target in the draft. Scouting reports on Ebron indicate that he may need to take some time learning how to use his body better when he is matched up with smaller opponents. He will need to learn how to be more aggressive against tight coverage when going up for 50/50 balls.
The point is that all of the negative aspects to Ebron’s game are fixable by practice and good coaching. His fantasy value in the 2014 NFL season will be determined by which team he is drafted to. Eventually in a few years, he will be an elite tight end in the NFL, but for the time being based on his scouting reports, he is essentially a bigger version of the prototypical finesse receiver. Sure, that will fit nicely into certain offensive schemes, but not into all of them.
In standard leagues, fantasy owners can consider taking a gamble on Ebron in the ninth or 10th round of the draft. However, in keeper leagues, his value will be much greater. He lacks the height of most elite pass catching tight ends in the NFL, but chances seem likely that Ebron will be among the best in the league in a few years.