Friday, February 21, 2014
Ebron draws interest from Jets, Giants
By Rich Cimini
INDIANAPOLIS -- The New York Jets and New York Giants have the hots for the same player -- Eric Ebron, North Carolina's ultra-athletic tight end.
If they both covet Ebron, the advantage goes to the Giants, who own the 12th overall pick -- six spots ahead of the Jets in the first round.
The Giants are so intrigued by Ebron (6-4, 250 pounds) that general manager Jerry Reese and vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross scouted him during the season and filed reports. The team's top two decision-makers don't do that unless there's a high degree of interest in a player. Ebron scored high grades and will be a consideration with the 12th pick.
The Giants have a glaring need, as do the Jets, who would love to pair Ebron with Jeff Cumberland, a free agent-to-be whom they're trying to re-sign.
Ebron (62 catches, 973 yards, three touchdowns last season) is the consensus top tight end in the draft, ahead of Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, whom the Giants interviewed Thursday night at the scouting combine. Ebron is a new-breed tight end, meaning he can split out as a receiver, creating a mismatch. He once said his speed is "illegal," and he told reporters that he can't be jammed at the line of scrimmage. College opponents didn't try, he said.
"I think why teams don't press me is because they can't," he said. "I will not be pressed at the line of scrimmage. That's a prideful thing of mine. It'd be best to leave the play to cover y'alls' back."
Ebron said he patterns his game after Vernon Davis of the San Francisco 49ers. Why?
"Because [of the] similarities," he said, comparing himself to one of the best. "His speed, he's powerful, he's very strong at the line of scrimmage. Love everything about him."
Ebron isn't shy on confidence. Asked to describe his play, he replied, "Fast. I play fast. I'm a little bit faster than most."
Scouts are eager to see his time in the 40. Ebron is far from a finished product. His blocking needs work, he's had some drops and some question his toughness over the middle. But the tight end position has changed, and the good ones are deployed like wide receivers.
"I just do different things than other tight ends do," Ebron said. "If you watch film you'll probably say the same thing."