If you were to create a prototype of today’s NFL tight end, it would look a whole lot like Gavin Escobar. A natural pass-catcher, Escobar has a tall frame and long arms to make him a favored target across the middle and in the red zone. He’s athletic and adjusts well to the ball, with outstanding body control and the ability to make the difficult catch. Escobar has good burst and is most effective on the shorter routes that make up the bulk of the tight end playbook; while he is capable of getting down the field, he takes a while to build up to full speed and isn’t a pure deep threat.
Escobar was moved around in the San Diego State offense and did far more pass-catching than blocking, but his frame suggests that with time, training, and plenty of reps in an NFL weight room he could develop into a solid blocker as well. His game has drawn comparisons to a pair of Chiefs, former KC great Tony Gonzalez and current Chief Tony Moeaki—though scouting reports are quick to point out in both cases that he pales in comparison to each as a blocker.
Escobar is no immediate threat to Jason Witten, but he could see the field in two-TE situations as a move or slot tight end. Witten is entering his 11th NFL season, so if Escobar uses the next couple of seasons to fill out the weaker aspects of his game it won’t be long before he is able to step seamlessly into that role.