North Carolina junior tight end Eric Ebron will skip his senior season and declare for the 2014 NFL Draft, the school announced on Monday. The Tar Heels will play their final home game on Saturday vs. Duke.
Ebron is rated as the No. 2 tight end and No. 26 prospect overall eligible for the upcoming draft, according to current ratings by NFLDraftScout.com. Texas Tech junior Jace Amaro (No. 17 overall), who is reportedly on the fence regarding his NFL decision, is the only tight end currently ranked ahead of him.
“I'm proud of what he's accomplished and how he's represented North Carolina,” said Tar Heels head coach Larry Fedora about Ebron. “We're sad to see him go but excited for his future.”
Ebron leads all ACC tight ends in catches (50) and receiving yards (774) this season, which are also career-bests and tops on the Tar Heels. He set a new school single game record with 199 yards receiving and eight catches against Miami earlier this season, a game that put him on the national radar.
The 6-4, 245-pound tight end has fluid body control and agile feet to make acrobatic catches before shrugging off and accelerating past defenders with the speed to finish. Despite having some focus drops, Ebron has shown the ability to make impressive catches on the outside, down the seam and even the one-hand variety that make everyone in attendance go “ooh” and “ahh.” He is still a work-in-progress as a blocker, but the physical talent is what makes him such an exciting prospect.
Ebron and Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby are the only two underclassmen so far who have announced their decision to leave school early for the 2014 NFL Draft.