Big Blue View Film Room: Eric Ebron edition

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After a nice break, it's time to re-open the Film Room. Now if only we had something to talk about...

With the frenzy around the opening of free agency slowing down, and the NFL focusing it's energy on sorting out it's draft boards, it's only fitting that the Film Room return to take a look at how potential draftees games' could translate to the next level.

To welcome the Film Room back, I'll be taking a look at tight end Eric Ebron, one of the prospects most commonly mocked to the New York Giants 12th overall.

Ebron's reputation is as receiving threat, who's combination of size and athleticism makes him a match-up problem for defenses. He also has a reputation as a willing blocker, just not a powerful one. [Prospect Profile]

So, we'll start by taking a look at his blocking, and how it could be used in the new offense the Giants coaching staff is building.

Play 1

For the first play we see is an end-around. Last season the Giants used a similar play to Jerrel Jernigan to score a 49 yard touchdown [VIDEO] (via Giants.com)

This play sees Ebron lined up with his hand in the dirt as a traditional tight end, facing an 8 man box.

Ebron-block-o_medium

via stream1.gifsoup.com (Eric Ebron vs Virginia Tech (2013) by Adrian Ahufinger)

Ebron starts the play lined up as a traditional tight end, lined up across from the left defensive end. After the snap he blocks the DE, moving him towards the right side of the field without letting him into the backfield. As the receiver takes the hand off, Ebron's man is out of the play.

Play 2

Pass protection

This play makes perfect use of Ebron's blocking abilities. He isn't asked to drive the lineman backward and generate movement along the line of scrimmage. Instead he is asked to contain the lineman and sell the run, which he does very well. In fact, that is the exact same role that Brandon Myers played in Jernigan's 49-yard touchdown.

Ebron-pass-pro-o_medium

via stream1.gifsoup.com (Eric Ebron vs Virginia Tech (2013), by Adrian Ahufinger)

Once again we see Ebron lining up as a traditional tight end, in line with his hand in the dirt. And as in the last play, Ebron is responsible for the left defensive end. Ebron does a nice job of blocking the defensive end, helping to give the QB plenty of time to throw the deep route. As far as Ebron's concerned, it doesn't matter if the receiver was overthrown. Ebron did his job.

Play 3

Safety Blanket Turned Weapon

Another one of the tight end's roles is to be his quarterback's safety valve. Eli Manning rarely had an outlet or checkdown option last year. That was partly because the porous offensive line often required the running back, fullback, and/or tight end to stay back and block. However, there were more than a few plays that appeared to be designed without a safety valve or check-down option.

Ebron-safety-blankey-o_medium

(Eric Ebron vs Duke 2013 by DCheeseB)

At the start of this play Ebron is lined up on the left hash mark. This isn't a traditional tight end role, but more and more athletic tight ends are being moved into the slot to draw mismatches over the middle. In this case, Ebron is being covered by a linebacker, who he is easily able to get separation from when he sees that his quarterback is in trouble. After seeing that his QB is in trouble, and working back toward the line of scrimmage, Ebron uses his hands well to snatch the ball out of the air. He then accelerates away from his would-be tacklers and puts North Carolina in scoring position when he is finally brought down.

Play 4

Red Zone Threat

The most important impact a tight end could have is as a red zone. The tight end's size allows them to have separation from the moment the ball is snapped, and lets the quarterback the option of putting the ball where only the tight end can get it. Likewise, and athletic tight end can deal with a variety of coverages and can adjust to a ball that isn't necessarily perfectly thrown.

Eric-ebron-td_medium

(Eric Ebron vs Georgia Tech (2013) by Aaron Aloysius)

Ebron begins this play lined up outside the hash marks as a receiver. After the snap he runs a post route and gets behind the linebacker and safety, who both come down to defend the run. Ebron uses his size, athleticism, and body control to elevate and adjust to catch the overthrown ball for the touchdown.

Ebron-acrobatic-catch-o_medium

(Eric Ebron vs Georgia Tech (2013) by Aaron Aloysius)

All's said and done Eric Ebron is considered a first round, and possibly a top-10, prospect for a reason. His game translates very well to what NFL teams are looking for in a modern receiving tight end. He's a dangerous weapon that can make highlight reel worthy catches, stretch and stress defenses, help offensive coordinators create matchups. He can, and has lined up as a wide receiver, a slot receiver, a tight end, or even in the backfield.

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