During the months leading up to the NFL Draft, one of the positions almost universally viewed as a…
Cowboys bolster passing game
He's not blindingly fast (he ran a 4.84 in the 40-yard dash, but ran a 4.78 and 4.81 at San Diego State's Pro Day), but he's a very smooth runner who can get behind defensive backs who don't expect tight ends to run deep. He caught 122 passes in three seasons with the Aztecs, including 42 in 2012, averaging more than 11 yards per catch in each of his three seasons and scoring 17 career touchdowns.
NFL teams are looking constantly for the next big, athletic TE who can create headaches for defensive coordinators. Like Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez and San Diego's Antonio Gates, Escobar is a former basketball player who runs very well and has outstanding hands, adding to his prototype size with a 32-inch vertical jump and by extending his long arms and snatching the ball higher than most defenders can reach. He also has exceptional body control for a player of his size, allowing him to adjust to the ball in flight, even after he has left the ground.
Escobar will allow Dallas head coach Jason Garrett and his offensive coaches to cause major headaches for defenses, as they now have three big tight ends who can run and who can make catches on numerous different pass routes. Witten is a better (and still underrated) blocker than Hanna and Escobar, but the three of them could be deployed in packages that few teams can match.
What he's not is an elite blocker, which makes the pick a little curious. Garrett said after Thursday's first round was that one reason he was pleased with the team's first-round selection of Wisconsin center Travis Frederick was that the team had identified better blocking in order to improve the running game as a high priority.
That he didn't block more is not meant to suggest that he can't, or that he shies away from contact. On the contrary, he uses his big frame to his advantage, often bouncing off defenders after making the catch. Escobar has the physical tools to be an able blocker, but wasn't asked to do a lot of it at San Diego State because the Aztec coaches did so many things with him in the passing game.
Like Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert and Stanford's Zach Ertz, San Diego State moved Escobar around, lining him up by the tackle in a classic tight end position, but also splitting him in to the slot and out wide to create mismatches for defenses, who had to choose between letting a linebacker cover him to match his strength, in which case he often ran right by them, or to put let a defensive back run with him and try to bring him down despite a significant size disadvantage. Escobar was the favorite target of SDSU quarterbacks Ryan Katz and Adam Dingwell: his 42 receptions, 543 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns all were team highs. In 2011, he was an even more prolific weapon for the Aztecs, hauling in 51 passes for 780 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.
The first-team All-Mountain West Conference honoree was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, given annually to the nation's premier college tight end.
CowboysHQ.com Recommended Stories
Week 13: Player Downgrades
Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Rusty Reeves predicts a heaping handful of players who will decline in the coming weeks. They should be downgraded at least one tier. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler …Read More
Scout College Football Top 30- Week Thirteen
The top 30 teams in college football after Week Thirteen...Read More
Outdoorsman's Gift Guide: Christmas 2014
Finding just the right present for that special someone can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled a wide variety of hunting, fishing and outdoor gifts that you—or Santa—can deliver this Christmas.Read More
Scout's ACC All-Century Team
There have been so many great basketball players in the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2000, but which have been the very best? We break down the Player of the Century, Best Coach, Best Freshman, and…Read More
The First Thanksgiving: 10 Myths and Facts
The story of the first Thanksgiving is filled with folklore and legend. But what’s the real story? Here are 10 commonly believed myths about the First Thanksgiving debunked.Read More
- Official Game Thread: Week 12 Cowboys v Giants
- Mexicanmarauder logical post game post DAL @ NYG 11/23/14
- Jason Garrett is a 500 head coach and needs to be replaced
- Hey media
- Ok, is Romo a top 5 quarterback?