INDIANAPOLIS—Eric Ebron doesn’t lack for confidence.
The North Carolina tight end, considered by many to be a Packers draft target, compared himself to 49ers star Vernon Davis and told reporters at the scouting combine on Thursday that he should be the first tight end selected in this year’s draft.
“If you need a tight end, I’m here,” he said.
The Packers, it would seem, need a tight end, what with Jermichael Finley’s status uncertain and his replacement, Andrew Quarless, headed for free agency.
Ebron, 6-4, 245, is a catch-a-lot, block-a-little tight end perfectly suited for Packers Coach Mike McCarthy’s tight end-friendly pass offense. Ebron said he didn’t have a team preference, but he’s clearly headed to a team that wants to feature him in its passing attack.
“I played at 245. This is where I want to stay. This is where I feel fast and most comfortable,” he said, letting it be known he doesn’t favor requests to bulk up and become an in-line blocker.
“A lot of teams don’t press me because they can’t. I will not be pressed at the line of scrimmage,” he said.
Ebron caught 62 passes for 973 yards and three touchdowns last season, in a sketchy North Carolina offense that caught fire in a late-season winning streak. Ebron is considered by most draftniks to be the top tight end prospect in this draft class, and his stock could rise sharply with an impressive combine workout.
How fast does he expect to run?
“We’ll see on Saturday,” Ebron said.
“Phenomenal athlete that plays the tight end position like a possession receiver. Big-play ability. What you want in a tight end these days, but strung a little tight personality-wise,” packers.com draft contributor Tony Pauline said of Ebron.
“I’m very fast and very different,” Ebron said. “I need to work on everything. Everything will help me be an elite tight end. I do things different than other tight ends do. Hopefully, I’m the first one off the board, but I don’t know what NFL teams think. I think we have a great tight end class. This is probably one of the best tight end classes ever.”
His assessment invited a direct question.
“In my mind, am I the top tight end? I don’t know. In my mind, should the draft play out that way? Yes, I think it should,” Ebron said.
“I have solid hands, I run fast and I’m strong.”
That’ll work. More from the combine: