Combine Watch: TE Eric Ebron

With the NFL scouting combine set to begin next week, I thought we'd take a look at a handful of prospects the New York Giants might consider with the No. 12 pick in the first round. I'm going to start today and pick it up again Monday, take you right up until things get going in Indianapolis. Sound good? Yeah, I thought so. Today's entry would be a fun one for Eli Manning, even if he wouldn't address the Giants' most pressing need.

Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina

Why they'd take him: Maybe they've addressed offensive line to their satisfaction in free agency before the draft rolls around. Maybe they think their line needs are at guard and center, not tackle, and there's no value in taking a guard or center this high. Or maybe, like a lot of teams built around expensive franchise quarterbacks, they want to give their guy more weapons in the passing game. The Giants have been getting by with one-year bargain types at tight end for a few years now. May be time to invest in a longer-term solution.

Where he ranks: Our pre-draft rankings have him as the No. 21 overall player and the No. 1 tight end. Mel Kiper's latest mock draftInsider has him going No. 16 to the Ravens. Todd McShay's latest mock draftInsider also has him going No. 16 to the Ravens.

Something positive (via ESPN's scouting report): "Good height, and is lean but has room to bulk up his frame. Estimated top-end speed is above average."

Something negative: "Unpolished route runner who telegraphs breaks and gets muscled off course, but has the burst to separate from underneath man coverage with improved footwork and added strength."

History: The last time the Giants took a tight end in Round 1 was 2002, when they took Miami's Jeremy Shockey with the 14th overall pick.