Prospect: Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State
Height: 6’5 7/8
Grade: 7.1 (Grading Scale)
Gavin Escobar has a big, athletic build with long arms. Shows superior athletic ability for his size combined with versatility to play a hybrid tight end position. Escobar is a natural hands catcher. Large hands that he uses to snatch the ball confidently out of the air. The ball sticks to his hands with no movement and he is able to put it away. He shows the reach and flexibility to reach and extend away from his frame to make the catch. Escobar can be used as a vertical threat.
He is able to stretch the seam, by beating linebackers with long strides and build up to top speed. Presents a large catch radius allowing him to make catches with defenders draped on him. Can exploit speed match-ups against linebackers and split out and beat DBs with size and body positioning. Escobar is used off out of motion a lot to set up angles on blocks and to get separation off the snap. Escobar has no trouble finding the soft spot in zone coverage and can become a big reliable safety valve for a QB.
Escobar is able to track the ball well while going vertically down the field. Gets his head turn and hands extended with the ability to adjust over the shoulder. He’s made a bunch of big plays down the field at SDSU. He’s very tough to cover when given a free release or when motioning out. Puts his body in between defender and the ball. As a blocker, Escobar has a large frame with solid strength. He lines off in an off-set position to improve angle on down blocks and help him seal the edge on outside runs. Has experience on wham and trap blocks showing the ability to kick out the defender to open the run lane.
Not very explosive or sudden out of his stance. Takes a bit of time to get up to speed and builds up to top speed when running away from defenders. Doesn’t attack defenders when blocking. Appears a bit tentative and lacks the mean streak to finish blocks. Gets far to vertical when blocking, narrowing his base and losing leverage.
Escobar is very “handsy” when blocking which results in his inability to sustain blocks. Also, loses his balance too much when blocking, lunges and overextends to moving defenders and ends up on the ground. In the open field Escobar isn’t the most elusive receiver. Lacks the midsection wiggle needed to make people miss and is a bit straight line-ish with the ball in his hands. Doesn’t necessarily like to dish out contact when running after the catch.
Gavin Escobar possesses the skill-set to become a star receiving tight end at the next level. His large athletic frame and movement ability will allow him to move all over the formation. He’s got great hands showing the ability to secure most passes and extend his large catch radius to make off target throws. As a route runner Escobar presents a large target that is able to run away from linebackers in coverage and stretch the field vertically down the seam. He’s got big play potential and created a number of big plays after the catch at SDSU. Escobar can be used in motion, off-set of split out wide to exploit match-ups.
He will be a popular safety valve in which every offense he goes to. While he isn’t the blocker he needs to be right now, he has the frame, length and athletic ability to develop into a serviceable in-line blocker at the next level. With the NFL moving towards tight end centered passing attacks, a big, athletic tight end like Gavin Escobar will have plenty of suitors on draft day. Escobar is likely to come off the board sometime on day two with a range between picks 50 – 75.