Patriots Draft Pick Review: Nate Ebner

Nate Ebner Patriots Safety

Nate Ebner made some plays on special teams this year for New England. (

NEPD Editor: Tony Santorsa

With the 197th overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft the New England Patriots selected defensive back Nate Ebner out of Ohio State.

The first thing that you probably heard about Ebner is that he’s a former rugby player in high school as well as at Ohio State—but he obviously still played football while at Ohio State.

When Bill Belichick made this selection, I immediately figured it was just another player that fits the “Patriot way,” someone that might not have the potential to be a star but can do a lot of different things and be a valuable member to New England’s 53-man roster.

Standing in at 6’0″ and weighing 210 lbs., Ebner does has the size to play at the NFL level but I wasn’t sure if he could be an impact player on anything aside from special teams.

The majority of Ebner’s playing time during his rookie season came on special teams but did play safety sparingly.

Entering 2013, I’m not sure what my expectations are with Ebner. I’m not 100 percent sure that he’ll make next year’s roster, but considering that he made this year’s roster as a rookie, he’ll likely be a quality special teamer next season.

2012 Stats: 15 games played and 14 total tackles. 

Letter Grade: C-

More 2012 NFL Draft Grades:

Chandler Jones / Dont’a Hightower / Tavon Wilson / Jake Bequette

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7 Responses to “Patriots Draft Pick Review: Nate Ebner”

  1. ctpatsfan77 says:

    I’d give the Ebner pick at least a B. He played more ST snaps as a rookie than anyone other than Niko Koutovides, and that’s with missing a game.

    If he can ever become a real contributor at S, then this becomes an easy A+.

  2. Jim R says:

    Wasted pick, Could of had Vontaze Burfict

    • ctpatsfan77 says:


      The Pats got a steal in Dennard in the 7th, and whose role was Burflict going to take?

  3. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    This was the most supriseing draft pick I have ever seen BB make in may years of following Bill’s personel moves! There was no tape on the guy, so entangables must have played a big role! I have a hard time believeing any player is drafted just for speical teams! why? But Bill saw something.

    • Alex says:

      Drafting someone for Special teams is basically choosing a talented athlete, who is bigger/faster than the average for the position, and is also hard working and humble and happy to accept a small role.
      If you can get someone like that who is raw from lack of football experience, with good coaching maybe they develop into a play maker.
      Given Ebner’s lack of football experience, I think he has a lot of potential upside, and could be a great SS. He could never make it, and be a career special teamer though.
      I would be very surprised if he didn’t make the roster.

      • Karnak says:

        I agree with you Alex. Ebner showed decent ball skills and excellent tackling. I absolutely do not agree with Tony about Ebner not making the roster.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I agree, your discription is basically the same for any player at any position !

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