With the No. 47 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected San Diego State Aztecs tight end Gavin Escobar. Escobar is the No. 40-rated player in the draft rankings from SB Nation's Dan Kadar and the third-rated tight end.
Escobar is one of those tight ends with a background in basketball. An early entrant into this year's draft, Escobar caught 42 passes for 543 yards and six touchdowns as a junior in 2012, following up arguably his best collegiate season as a sophomore, where he snagged 51 catches for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. His 15.3 average yards per catch as a sophomore was also Escobar's best during his time at San Diego State.
The Cowboys are obviously pretty well set at tight end with Jason Witten entrenched as the starter. That said, Escobar may have been too good of a receiving option to pass up. He may need some time to get used to the NFL as a blocker, but as a pass catcher he should be able to contribute immediately. The Cowboys will just need to find the right way to use him.
In a prospect profile from NFLDraftScout.com, Escobar appears to fit the NFL's current desire for multi-purpose receiving tight ends:
Looks the part of today's hybrid receiver/tight end, possessing broad shoulders, a relatively slim waist and great length. Natural pass-catcher with excellent hand-eye coordination and rare body control for a man of his size. Shows the ability to leap and contort in the air to adjust to the ball, making him an effective jump-ball candidate. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder and has the straight-line speed to challenge the seam. Good quickness and balance to generate separation against linebackers and uses his size well to make him a difficult matchup against defensive backs.
Weight: 254 pounds
Hand size: 9 3/4 inches
40-yard dash: 4.84 seconds
Vertical jump: 32.0 inches
Broad jump: 9'6
3-cone drill: 7.07 seconds
20-yard shuttle: 4.31 seconds
Escobar was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award, presented to the nation's top tight end, as well as a member of the All-Mountain West's first team as a junior in 2012. His stock may not have been higher a year from now. As a receiver, Escobar's physical attributes and skill set make him the sort of tight end NFL teams love to have with the current wave of versatile, creative offensive strategies around the league.