As I wrote about a few days back, what has been the silver lining for the 2013 UNC Football season is Eric Ebron. I kept thinking about that as I was watching the best channel ever when it comes to football, the NFL Red Zone. Seeing all the touchdowns being scored made me wonder what would be a good fit for the tight end if he headed to the next level at the end of the year. Of course with the draft order not being anywhere close to being set up, the order will change without a doubt from where it is now, making the thought process a very good mix of guessing and estimation. Also, the reality is that for now it is but a mystery if Ebron will leave after this year, but if nothing changes from now until the end of the 2013 campaign, I would be hard pressed to think that the young man stays his senior season.
So, having said all of that I gave a look at the teams that could be the right fit for number 85, and there were two that I went back to over and over, the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons.
For the Packers, who their tight end Jermichael Finley, is at the end of his 2 year contract, would make a lot of sense. The sixth year man could be looking for free agency to get more money than the team might want to shell out. If that is the case the need to replace him would become essential, and if the Packers do not go the free agent way, they would have to draft one. On the other side, for the Falcons, their starting tight end is Tony Gonzalez, who is 37 years old and after 17 seasons this could be playing in his last one in the NFL. And just like the Packers, if the Atlanta franchise does not seek a tight end through free agents, they would have to draft one in 2013. ESPN’s Mel Kiper, along with other analysts/experts, has said that Ebron is the best at his position if he comes out this season.
Second, I would imagine that quarterbacks such as Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan would like to have a commodity such as Ebron to look for down the seams of a zone, on a dump off when the main targets are covered, or any other possibility as the connection between QB to TE has become more and more part of the game in the last few seasons. So if either of the teams were to lose their starting TE it would make sense that one or the other, if not both franchises, would make filling that position a priority, and while Ebron would have to learn the systems and get acquainted with the pro speed, I believe he would be an upgrade for the Packers and could begin to fill the shoes of what is going to be a future Hall of Famer when it comes to the Falcons’ tight end.
Third, a player like Ebron, who can make spectacular catches down the field but can also block when asked, is always a plus to have on the gridiron.
Now, with more than half the season to go in the National Football League, without the knowledge if the Packers and Finley part way, or knowing if Eric Ebron will even leave North Carolina early, all of this is just a lot of speculation on my part. On the other hand, it is also a way to start a good discussion about a player that without a doubt will one day be playing in the NFL.
So here is the question for all of you… be it the Packers, the Falcons, or any other of the 30 NFL teams, will Ebron be a first round choice if he goes in this year’s NFL Draft?