April 29, 2015 - Aaron Wilson
Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs making strong bid for NFL
Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs is making a strong bid for the NFL
A Chicago native who worked out for the hometown Bears during their local prospect day as well as working out for the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, Bibbs draws high marks as an all-around tight end for his pass-catching and blocking skills.
"I'm a hybrid guy who can do multiple things on the field," Bibbs said in a telephone interview. "I can play fullback, H-back, tight end and receiver and do multiple things. It ain't just about catching the football. You have to be able to do it all."Bibbs has been projected as a fifth-round to seventh-round draft target by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
"I've had him in my top 10 tight ends pretty much the entire way, but he's a late-round pick," Kiper Jr. said. "You're talking about a fifth- to seventh-round pick. Bibbs can make a football team as a backup tight end in this league and have a nice career."
Bibbs caught 45 passes for 382 yards and eight touchdowns last season and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
"I like Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark, those two guys," Bibbs said. "Clark is old-school, undersized, no gloves. He got after it."Bibbs has recovered from a meniscus surgery that sidelined him during the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine.
"I'm close to 100 percent," Bibbs said. "My knee's fine. I had a bruised bone during the season. It took a while to heal. I'm completely fine now."
Bibbs is represented by Marc Lillibridge, a former Iowa State and NFL linebacker who was a Green Bay Packers assistant personnel director prior to becoming an agent.
"The day he walked into my house I knew he was my agent," Bibbs said. "He believes in me. When he walked in, I knew he was the guy."
Bibbs met with the Baltimore Ravens informally at the NFL scouting combine.
He bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times at the combine. At his Pro Day, he did 22 reps and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. He had a 31 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 9-2 broad jump and a 7.22 three-cone drill.
"My Pro Day went pretty smooth," Bibbs said. "I got out there and let the guys judge how I performed."The 6-foot-2, 258-pounder was a Mackey Award semifinalist.
He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2013 when he caught 39 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns. and honorable-mention All-Big 12 Newcomer of the year.
In two seasons, Bibbs had 84 catches for 844 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He played in 2012 and 2011 at Arizona Western where he was a second-team junior college All-American and caught the game-winning touchdown in the NJCAA national championship game.
He chose Iowa State over Oklahoma and Nebraska.
"I've been working out and staying in shape," Bibbs said. "All I do with my spare time is hang out and play video games. I'm more of a Madden, Call of Duty guy. "
Bibbs said he's set simple goals for his rookie season.
"I want to be on that 53-man roster," Bibbs said. "I want to play and go out and make plays. I play special teams. I like doing that, too. It's not bad. It's another way to show what you can do and help the team win."
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun