Nov 2, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) and safety Damien Washington (35) celebrate a victory against the North Carolina State Wolfpackat Carter Finley Stadium. North Carolina beat North Carolina State 27-19. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: Could Pittsburgh Steelers target UNC TE Eric Ebron?

While most believe that when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around the Pittsburgh Steelers could target a wide receiver or cornerback, could they throw a curveball and look at selecting a tight end instead?

Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs after a catch during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina’s Eric Ebron, the top tight end on the board, has been linked to the Steelers in the last weeks and ESPN’s Todd McShay even has the Steelers selecting Ebron in his latest mock draft.

I would be very intrigued if Ebron were still on the board when the Steelers select at No.  15 as I believe he can add a whole new dimension to the Steelers offense.  While they may be looking at getting Ben Roethlisberger another weapon in the first round, who says it has to be a wide receiver?

Ebron is an athletic tight end who excels at working the hashes. He has the speed of a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, and showed improvement as a blocker and route-runner last season. He’s is a Vernon Davis clone who could do big things in a Steelers uniform.

I was all for the Steelers selecting Note Dame tight end Tyler Eifert instead of Jarvis Jones last season in the first round as he could create matchup problems for opposing defenses.

Ebron is the same way. Ebron, who caught 62 passes for 973 yards in his final season at North Carolina, has the size and athleticism to create mismatches.

At 6’4″ he would fill the void of a tall receiver that the Steelers are looking for.

However ESPN’s Bill Polian doesn’t like the fit of Ebron to the Steelers.

“He’s a Pittsburgh Steeler and he doesn’t block. That doesn’t compute,” Polian, a six-time NFL Executive of the Year, said of Ebron. “I don’t think he’s ready to play in the NFL right now. I think he’s too immature. I don’t think his feet are firmly planted on the ground. Yeah, he has ability but that only gets you so far.”

While it is quite tempting to pull the trigger on Ebron, it is also a risk.

For that reason alone, I don’t see the Steelers taking Ebron, even though he was still on the board, in my latest mock draft, as I have him going No. 18 to the New York Jets.



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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Eric Ebron Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Joel Nye

    Its not as much of a risk (I see very little risk anyway since the mere presence of a true receiving threat inside will elevate the entire receiving group and pay dividends) as taking a CB that runs a 4.53 and has his best quality being how physical he is (college) and what a great tackler he is, in a league were being ALLOWED to be physical (NFL) on the corner is almost completely gone. How about the risk in taking players who are graded well below the spot (15) your taking them? A corner slated for the latter part the first round or a WR slated to be taken the same, is exactly what you should not do with the first pick- because of the risk. Getting a top 10 talent at 15? If that’s a risk- sign me up. I’ll take that any day over a reach for players slated in the 20-32 range. That or trade down and get more picks, THEN taking a player like Beckham or Fuller. If you can’t get Evans or Gilbert, don’t pass on Ebron (if he’s even there) to take a player based on mere position rather than level of skill and talent for the ’15′ spot. Do that or trade down.


      Totally agree w/Ebron or even trading back into round one for Amaro. This team lost 113 catches, 1,342 yards and 16 touchdowns over the course of the offseason, and the mere fact Spaeth is on the roster illustrates how bereft of talent they are behind Miller at TE.

      I also share your view on Dennard and believe that if a CB selection is made, they’re better of going Verrett or Fuller instead (potentially trading down a couple of spots as well).