The pre-draft speculation has focused on the Jets' need at wide receiver, but let's not forget, their tight-end depth chart is almost barren. Word is they're very intrigued by North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. Projected as a mid-first-round pick, Ebron will be linked to the Jets in plenty of mock drafts over the next 2 1/2 months. He's the kind of pass-catching threat they need, but there are some questions. "I don't think he's tough enough to run down the seam and catch the ball in the middle," an AFC personnel executive said. "Is he a great athlete? Yes. Does he have good hands? Yes. Can he catch the ball in traffic? I don't think so." Ebron is the kind of athlete that will wow evaluators at the combine and workouts, but teams will have to rely on game tape to determine if the toughness questions are accurate.One would hope that a potential first round NFL tight end would be willing to take some hits over the middle. That said, there's always going to be at least one concern about any given player, no matter how high or low he is taken in the draft.
Josh Norris told us on the podcast a few weeks ago that few tight ends are both excellent run blockers (physical) as well as serious receiving threats in the current NFL. So this insight on Ebron is helpful, but never the full picture. Do the Jets feel like Ebron is a player that has a place in their offense and is justifiable at the their given slot? Do the Jets take the view that a tight end is actually just another receiver then it might not matter? With the Jets emphasis on the running game, an unwillingness to take hits over the middle might be indicative of other concerns about the well-rounded nature of his game. But it comes back to how the Jets are willing to use him and if they feel confident in coaching him up.