- 2013 San Diego State Pro Day: San Diego State and Hawaii held their pro days together in San Diego on March 19. Workouts were held outdoors on FieldTurf. All 32 NFL teams were present, including defensive back coaches from San Diego and tight end coaches from Cincinnati, Philadelphia and San Diego. Gavin Escobar, TE (6-6 1/8, 248) - Escobar ran a 4.78 and 4.81-second 40-time and did 12 reps of 225 pounds. He had a really good workout and caught the ball really well. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Full *Gavin Escobar News Wire
Every team in the NFL is looking for the next mismatch down the seam along the lines of All-Pros Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. While Stanford's Zach Ertz and Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert received most of the attention across the country, no tight end was more valuable to his team's success in 2012 than Escobar.
The lanky junior led the Aztecs in catches (42), receiving yards (543) and touchdowns (six), earning not only First Team All-Mountain West honors but also being named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end. The numbers would be even more impressive if not for the fact that they are a drop from the production he had a year ago, when Escobar exploded for 51 catches for 780 yards and seven touchdowns while catching passes from Ryan Lindley, now a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
Like Lindley and his three other former SDSU teammates drafted in 2011 (running back Ronnie Hillman, linebacker Miles Burris and defensive tackle Jerome Long), Escobar hasn't received the national attention that his talent warrants.
Perhaps he will when he winds up proving a standout during pre-draft workouts and ultimately earning a selection within the first 100 picks of the 2013 draft.
STRENGTHS: Looks the part of today's hybrid receiver/tight end, possessing broad shoulders, a relatively slim waist and great length. Natural pass-catcher with excellent hand-eye coordination and rare body control for a man of his size. Shows the ability to leap and contort in the air to adjust to the ball, making him an effective jump-ball candidate. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder and has the straight-line speed to challenge the seam. Good quickness and balance to generate separation against linebackers and uses his size well to make him a difficult matchup against defensive backs. Creative open-field runner, showing vision to set-up blocks, as well as the surprising lateral agility to elude and the speed to pull away for long gains. Developing blocker who bends his knees and shows enough strength and tenacity to turn and seal off defenders.
WEAKNESSES: A featured target in this offense and is often lined up in the slot rather than as a traditional tight end. Can get stymied at the point of attack with a strong pop, though he's shown improved hand play to defeat the jam. Lacks the strength to sustain blocks for long. Possesses a deceptive, gliding gait but may not run well in workouts.
Compares To: Scott Chandler, TE, Buffalo Bills -- Like the former Iowa wideout, Escobar's value to his future NFL team will be in his ability to stretch the seam and make difficult grabs over the middle. If allowed to split out wide in this role, he could quickly emerge as a dangerous weapon.