The Baltimore Ravens have signed tight end Gavin Escobar. Escobar was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Escobar formerly played for the Dallas Cowboys who drafted him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft as the 47th overall pick out of San Diego State University.
As a true freshman at SDSU, Escobar was redshirted after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. However, after having the tumor removed, he was able to return to playing football in 2010, starting 12 games and ending the year with 29 catches for 323 yards and four touchdowns and was named to the second-team All-Mountain West Conference.
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He was named first-team All MWC after his 2011 and 2012 seasons and entered the NFL Draft after his junior year.
Escobar was drafted by the Cowboys in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, which came as a surprise to many experts since they had had a mixed history picking tight ends in the draft with Martellus Bennett and Anthony Fasano being their previous two tight end draft picks.
Escobar was expected to have a solid role as a pass catcher in the Cowboys offense behind Jason Witten, mostly running in two tight end sets, but failed to develop much of a role in the team’s offense, ending his rookie season with just nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns.
The remainder of his career in Dallas was similar, as he was mostly used on special teams and never really established much of a role for himself in the Cowboys’ passing scheme, eventually being demoted to the team’s third-string tight end in 2015.
Escobar’s contract ended after the 2016 season and he was picked up by Kansas City Chiefs this past offseason, though he was released by the Chiefs on Sept. 2nd, right before the beginning of the season.
While he has improved over the years, he’s still not a particularly effective in-line blocker, which makes this move somewhat puzzling for the Baltimore Ravens. Certainly, Escobar makes for a good passing target, given his 6’6″, 260-pound frame, but the Baltimore Ravens already have some solid pass-catching tight ends in Ben Watson, Nick Boyle, and Maxx Williams.
Now, Williams is dealing with an ankle injury, so it’s possible that Escobar is being brought in as a depth move ahead of fourth-string tight end Vince Mayle, but given that Escobar is not a particularly effective blocker, and blocking is something the Baltimore Ravens are in desperate need of right now, especially after the loss of Marshal Yanda, this move doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Ravens.
Perhaps Escobar could eventually factor into the passing game, he’s still just 26 years old and has time to develop into something useful. And certainly Watson, at nearly 37 years old, is no spring chicken, so this could be more of an insurance move than anything.