Tuesday, May 6, 2014
#NFLNationmock: Why I drafted Eric Ebron
By Paul Kuharsky
If the Titan face a scenario like I faced on their behalf in our NFL Nation mock draft Tuesday, they could trade down and still land quite a player.
Eric Ebron, Taylor Lewan, Aaron Donald, Calvin Pryor, Anthony Barr, Zack Martin, C.J. Mosley and Justin Gilbert were all available at No. 11.
I chatted with Jets reporter Rich Cimini before the draft about a possible trade: The Titans would have sent No. 11 and 141 in the fourth round to the Jets for No. 18 and 49 in the second round.
Trade down as low as seven spots and the worst the Titans could do was land one of that pool.
But when the time came, Cimini had lost interest in that deal and I was less willing to move because I had a guy I think will be gone and is too good to pass up –- Ebron the tight end from North Carolina.
The Titans aren’t tight end-desperate by any means.
But we’ve seen some two-tight end situations crush defenses, starting with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in New England (before Hernandez was charged with murder).
In Cincinnati, Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham are promising duo. Last year, the Eagles got a combined 68 catches for 971 yards and 10 touchdowns out of Brent Celek and Zach Ertz. If Dwayne Allen is healthy and Coby Fleener gets better, Andrew Luck could lean on a pair of tight ends.
And in Tennessee, if Ken Whisenhunt was calling plays for an offense with both Ebron and Delanie Walker, I think it could be tremendous.
Think of Kendall Wright in the slot on one snap and Ebron there the next. How many guys in the league have a chance at covering the small, shifty Wright and the giant, strong Ebron? Defenses would struggle trying to keep up.
The Titans have two former NFL tight ends, Whisenhunt and tight end coach Mike Mularkey, as part of the offensive staff as well as offensive coordinator Jason Michael, who coached tight ends in San Diego. With the Chargers, Ladarius Green was emerging as a nice supplement to Antonio Gates.
Craig Stevens is a solid blocker, but a non-threatening pass-catcher who just took a pay cut. Taylor Thompson is on the verge of busting.
I think the Titans like Ebron. I think he’d be a hard guy to pass up.