STRENGTHS - There isn't a more natural pass-catcher at the position than Escobar. He has super-long arms and big hands, and he consistently plucks the ball away from his frame. He is a graceful athlete with a long stride, and his future is bright because of his ability to stretch the field and go up to get the ball. He has surprising quickness and can quickly separate from defensive backs as he gets out of his break. Escobar has deceptive ability to run away from defenders and is a very polished route runner, using his head and shoulders to sell fakes.
WEAKNESSES - Escobar is not a great blocker who is going to overpower defenders in the in-line blocking game. He does a better job using his body to wall off a defender, but it is an area where he needs to improve if he is going to help his teammates. He might end up being a good blocker with some time in an NFL strength and training program, as he lacks the strength to line up and push players around the field.
SUMMARY - Gavin Escobar comes into the NFL at a perfect time for his set of skills. Teams are using the hybrid tight end to stretch the field with their length, long arms and ability to wall off defenders because of the size of their bodies. Escobar brings all of these skills to the NFL table and more as he has great hands and catches everything that is thrown at him. He consistently catches the ball away from his body, making it more difficult for defenses to cover him. He shows explosion in and out of his breaks, and he eats up cushion quickly when lined up from the slot. Linebackers can't stay with him because of his movement ability, and cornerbacks can't stay with him because of his size. His ability to run after the catch is truly underrated because he can move laterally and avoid the tackler, and then run into open space. He consistently can locate the ball, make an adjustment with his body and make the catch. This might be Escobar's best trait, and his biggest asset going forward. He makes tough catches look easy and will make a quarterback more accurate with his huge catching radius. He has incredible hands, and makes contested catches all over the field. Escobar is going to present significant challenges to NFL defenses because of his ability to play jump ball in the red zone and down the seam. If he can improve in the blocking area, he will be the complete package and a rock star in the NFL. He warrants consideration in the middle of Round 1, and should be in consideration to be the first tight end off the board in April.