Born in Newark, top tight end prospect Eric Ebron grew up a New York Giants fan just 10 miles south of The Meadowlands. He eventually moved down to Greensboro, North Carolina during elementary school, but he’d still love to suit up for Big Blue.
“It would be incredible,” he said Wednesday at a Play 60 event at Chelsea Waterside Park in Manhattan. “I’d play for both my childhood teams. Well, Carolina wasn’t my childhood team but they became one. My whole family would love it. They’re all Giants fans.”
His favorite Giants player growing up? Fierce, playmaking tight end Jeremy Shockey of course!
Like they all do, Ebron made it clear it’s not the location he’s concerned with, just the opportunity. He’s simply looking forward to hearing his name called at some point Thursday night inside Radio City Music Hall.
“I would love to play for any team,” he said. “I would love to be a Jet, a Giant, a Panther. It doesn’t even matter. I’m excited just to be part of the draft.”
Ebron is an athletic freak in the mold of the San Francisco 49ers’ Vernon Davis. He’s a big-time playmaker with great size (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) and electric speed for a player of his size (he clocked a 4.56 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine). He is unquestionably the draft’s top tight end and is expected to be taken at some point within the top 15 picks.
The Giants, slated to pick at No. 12 in the 2014 NFL Draft, may look to use Ebron to bolster their new-look offense under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo where the tight end position is expected to play a key role.
While NJ.com’s Jordan Raanan gave solid reasoning for why he does not believe Ebron is even on the Giants’ radar, Ebron can’t tell how they feel about him at this moment.
“They don’t talk a lot,” he said. “They’re really undercover. So, as of now, I can sense absolutely nothing from them.”
Ebron torched ACC defenses this past season at North Carolina, where he racked up an ACC record 973 yards on 62 receptions at the tight end position. He’s built like a receiver, but due to some thick shoulders—what Ebron said was the reason he was a tight end and not a receiver—and slightly heavier frame, the former Tar Heel falls into a category of tight ends that has taken the league by storm. Elite athletes like Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski, who can do it all as a receiver and perform adequately as in-line blockers when necessary.
For him, the whole draft process has been fun and he’s made sure to enjoy every minute of it. He certainly took pleasure in taunting the kids during a flag football game and playing referee on some corner-of-the-end zone throws. But he’s ready to get to work.
“Finally, you get to know where you’re going to go. Where you’re going to spend the next three-four years of your life,” he said. “I’m ready. I’ve been waiting for it.”