Draft chatter: Should Ravens take TE Ebron at 17?

Draft chatter: Should Ravens take TE Ebron at 17?
April 27, 2014, 10:00 am
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Eric Ebron’s struggles as a blocking tight end might help him fall to the Ravens at No. 17. Having already visited with the Ravens, Ebron is widely considered the most talented tight end in the draft, a gifted receiver with size (6-4, 245 pounds) and run-after-catch ability. However, the North Carolina product is not getting rave reviews for his blocking. 

“I think if Ebron gets by the Giants (12th pick), he falls to Baltimore,” ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said during a conference calls. “He is not going to block for you, but that ability catching the ball, Ebron going to be attractive at No. 17. Maybe because he’s not a great blocker, the Giants (No. 12) pass on him. That’s one thing he’s not going to help you with. He’s not going to block.” 

Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves throwing to tight ends. While the Ravens signed free agent tight end Owen Daniels, he was only given a one-year contract, and his presence would not keep the Ravens from considering Ebron.

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Ebron caught 62 passes for 973 yards last season, and at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, he may be too tempting for the Ravens to pass on, even though they need a starting right tackle and a starting free safety. However, Kiper also pointed out limitations to Ebron’s game.

“He’s going to be a little inconsistent catching the ball, but he improved in that area this year,” Kiper said. “He’s not the toughest guy out there. You watch him and there are some opportunities he has to go up for the football and goes up there a little passively at times.”

With Dennis Pitta entrenched as the starter, and Daniels familiar with Kubiak’s offense, drafting a tight end is not a necessity for the Ravens. However, if the Ravens believe Ebron will become an impact tight end in the NFL, they may draft him first, and draft a safety or tight end later.