*Gavin Escobar            San Diego State                        Good athlete with smooth and natural movement skills, body balance and control, and the frame to add bulk. Has natural receiving skills to track over-the-shoulder receptions; can leap and adjust to outjump defender with soft hands and natural movement skill set. Demonstrates good concentration in traffic, and will get dirty to dive for balls. Good route runner (screen, out, dig, seam, fade). Good vision in space with RAC (run after catch) production and nose for end zone; limited overall playing speed. Inline blocker who will need further strength and explosion through weight room development. A blocker to wall and position, with adequate UOH (use of hands) to steer defender; competitive, not dominant or explosive. Is pulled and jerked off balance too frequently, and needs wider base and better knee bend and anchor; pad level rises as defender punches breast plate too often. Escobar is a raw, albeit talented, player with good upside.  Softli – Second-round talent.

 

GAVIN ESCOBAR

Tight End

San Diego State University Aztecs

#88

6:05.7-254

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic High School

 

OVERVIEW

Possibly one of the best-kept secrets in the draft, this highly effective pass catcher continues the trend of change at the tight end position in recent years. One look around the National Football League and you will find bigger, quicker and more athletic tight ends playing a major role in their team’s offensive game plan. Quite a few of these athletes come with a strong basketball background, which results in comparisons to some of the more successful stories from those ranks – Tony Gonzalez (Atlanta) and Jimmy Graham (New Orleans).

 

Escobar might be the next multi-sport athlete to make an impact on the gridiron. Playing for a team not blessed with much talent, Escobar might not have gotten the national media attention of others at this position, but in scouting circles, he made the San Diego State campus a “must stop” place for talent evaluators to visit. Even though he still needs to refine his craft and gain more experience, he is a very coachable player with a “high ceiling” for developing into an elite player at the next level.

 

Escobar started only 23 games during his 39-game career with the Aztecs, but managed to grab 122 passes for 1,646 yards (13.49 ypc) and seventeen touchdowns. As a sophomore, he etched his name into the school annual record books, as his 51 receptions for 780 yards rank as the second-best season totals by a San Diego State tight end. He did not reproduce those numbers as a junior, but his 543 receiving yards in 2012 still registered fourth on the school record list for tight ends.

 

Becoming a physical blocker is one area of his game that Escobar has yet to develop, along with learning how to use his size to defeat initial contact to get into his routes quicker, but he is a large, inviting target known for his agility and flexibility. Those athletic skills have seen him make acrobatic catches and bring the crowd to its feet on a regular basis.

 

What stands out about Escobar’s “game” is that he is a natural hands catcher with excellent leaping ability and true courage trying to high point the ball operating in a crowd. He has that ease of movement agility and good field vision, doing a nice job of turning his head and looking the ball in over his outside shoulder. He might not have blazing speed, but shows good hip snap and lateral agility to stop and go in another direction, easily avoiding the slower second level defenders after the catch.

 

Escobar gobbles up the cushion in a hurry, as his long strides compensate for a lack of an explosive initial burst. He is often aligned on the outside, creating mismatches as a wide-out vs. smaller cornerbacks. He is very conscious of ball security, using his body well to protect the ball before turning and heading up field. He has also shown good urgency breaking off his route and coming back for the ball when the pocket is pressured.

 

Hailing originally from New York City, Escobar moved to California as a child, going on to excel in football and basketball at Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Orange County, lettering twice in each sport. On the gridiron, he competed as a 185-pound defensive end and tight end during his junior season, catching eleven balls for 163 yards and a score. He earned All-Trinity League second-team honors as a 215-pound wide receiver during his senior season, making 37 catches for 492 yards and six touchdowns. The highlight for that season was when he had seven receptions for 130 yards vs. St. Bonaventure, the eventual state Division III champion, as he earned player of the game accolades for his performance.

 

Escobar received just a two-star prospect rating in football and was ranked the 79th-best tight end in the nation by Scout.com. He also placed 20th on the “Top 20 Orange County Recruits for the Class of 2009″ list by ocvarsity.com. In basketball, he lettered as a junior and senior. His first campaign in hoops came for an Eagles team that ranked sixth in the state of California after compiling a 30-5 record in 2007. The team produced a 22-9 mark during his final season.

 

Escobar enrolled at San Diego State in 2009, but spend the season as a member of the scout team. He made a big impact for the Aztecs in 2010, receiving Freshman All-American honors while starting twelve games. He finished third on the team with 29 receptions for 323 yards (11.14 ypc) and four touchdowns.

 

In 2011, Escobar was limited to five early season starting assignments, as he was bothered midway through the schedule due to a hand fracture suffered vs. Air Force. He still finished second on the squad with 51 receptions for 780 yards (15.29 ypc), both figures which rank second on the school season-record list for tight ends. He also found the end zone seven times on the way to receiving All-Mountain West Conference first-team and All-American honorable mention recognition.

 

As a junior, the San Diego State offense featured a two-tight end attack, with Escobar starting six times, mostly in the slot. Among his six touchdown catches were two game-winning grabs, as he led the Aztecs with 42 receptions for 543 yards (12.93 ypc). He was again named to the All-MWC team and received All-American honorable mention.

 

Shortly after San Diego State lost to Brigham Young in the Pointsettia Bowl, Escobar announced that he was not returning to school for his senior season and had elected to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. The Mackey Award semi-finalist felt that he had gone as far as he could at the collegiate level. He made the decision after his initial NFL Draft evaluation came back to him saying he would be a third-round pick or higher.

 

As a tight end, Escobar felt it is harder to move up any higher in the draft board, so it made sense to skip his senior season. San Diego State head coach Rocky Long obviously wanted Escobar to stay, but said it is ultimately up to the player, “I never know if it’s a good or bad decision. I let the young man and his family to decide,’ Long said. “I gave him my opinion and want him to make that decision. I told him we wanted him to come back, and the benefits of coming back, but families do a good job of deciding these things.”

 

Escobar is expected to become just the sixth Aztec tight end to ever be drafted by an NFL team and hopes to join Lloyd Edwards (75th pick, third round, 1969 draft by Oakland) and Robert Awalt (62nd choice in the third round of the 1987 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals) as the only San Diego State tight ends to be selected within the top one hundred picks of their respective drafts.

 

Other San Diego State tight ends to hear their names called on draft day were Bill Helms, an 11th round choice by the New York Giants in 1977. He was followed by Don Warren, taken in the fourth round by Washington in 1979, who became a vital weapon in Joe Gibbs’ offensive attack. The last Aztec tight end to be drafted was Ray Rowe in 1992, chosen in the sixth round by the Redskins.

 

 

 

 

CAREER NOTES

Escobar started 23-of-39 games at San Diego State, tying Webster Slaughter (1984-85) for 16th on the school career-record chart with 122 receptions…Escobar generated 1,646 receiving yards, an average of 13.49 yards per catch, as his seventeen touchdown catches placed eleventh on the school all-time record chart…Became just the 26th player in school history to register 100 receptions during a career, as his final totals are topped by only  Tim Delaney (180 catches for 2,535 yards and 22 touchdowns; 1968-70) among San Diego State tight ends.

 

2012 SEASON

Escobar earned All-American honorable mention from The NFL Draft Report (that scouting information service also listed him as the player with the highest upside among players at his position eligible for the draft) and Pro Football Weekly…Received All-Mountain West Conference recognition for the third consecutive year and was a semi-finalist for the Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top tight end…Also named to the Lombardi Award Watch List, presented to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year by The Rotary Club of Houston…Helped lead a second half surge that saw the Aztecs win each of their final seven regular season games before losing to Brigham Young in the Poinsettia Bowl, as the junior started six of the thirteen games he appeared in…The Aztecs finished with a 9-4 record, but ranked just 103rd among 120 major colleges with an average of 175.92 yards passing per game…Escobar led the team with 42 receptions, as he had 66 balls targeted to him (caught 63.64%), good for 543 yards (12.93 ypc), the fourth-most yards gained by an Aztec tight end in a season, topped by his own 780 yards in 2011,

Tim Delaney (794 in 1970), Kerry Reed-Martin (719 in 1987) and Robert Awalt (541 in 1986), as 25 of his catches produced first downs, converting five third-down throws and four fourth-down snaps, in addition to coming up with six touchdowns…Also had key grabs to set up five other touchdown drives while one of his two carries for 7 yards converted a fourth-down play to set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Adam Muema vs. Wyoming…Three other receptions came on possessions that resulted in field goals…Had twenty catches for at least ten yards, including eleven for 20 yards or longer…Was tackled for a loss after a reception just once and did not drop any passes targeted to him…After just four catches in his first two games, Escobar posted his third career 100-yard performances with five receptions for 117 yards and a 20-yard score vs. North Dakota, followed by a 2-yard touch-down snatch that ended a 14-play, 90-yard drive, coming up with five catches for 46 yards vs. San jose State…Ended an 11-play, 75-yard series with a 4-yard score with 3:45 left in regulation and then caught the game-winning 21-yard touchdown in overtime to give the Aztecs a 39-38 decision over Nevada, finishing with 39 yards on five grabs…Caught four passes for 108 yards and a 12-yard touchdown vs. Nevada-Las Vegas…In addition to his 9-yard reverse for a first down on a fourth-down play to set up a scoring drive, Escobar had six catches for 36 yards and an 11-yard touchdown vs. Wyoming. He also pulled down a fourth-down toss for a 5-yard first down, leading to another scoring run by Adam Muema from two yards out for a 42-28 SDSU victory.

 

2011 SEASON

An All-American honorable mention choice by Sports Illustrated, Escobar also earned Sophomore All-American second-team accolades from The NFL Draft Report and was a member of their “Rising Stars” Class of 2011…Received All-Mountain West Conference first-team honors, as he appeared in thirteen games, starting vs. Cal Poly, Michigan, Texas Christian, Fresno State and Louisiana-Lafayette, but was limited during the midseason after he suffered broken bone in his left hand vs. Air Force…Still finished second on the team and seventh in the conference with a career-high 51 receptions for 780 yards (15.29 ypc) and seven touchdowns…The only tight end with more catches and receiving yards in a season for the Aztecs was Tim Delaney, who accounted for 794 yards on 60 grabs in 1970. Kerry Reed-Martin (719 in 1987) is the only other San Diego State tight end to ever gain over 550 receiving yards during a campaign…His seven touchdown catches are the most by an Aztec tight end since Delaney totaled fourteen in 1969…Escobar’s average of 60.00 receiving yards per game ranked third in the NCAA Football Bowl subdivision ranks among tight ends…Hauled in his fifth career touchdown in the season-opening win over Cal Poly, as he finished with four catches for 36 yards as a starter vs. the Mustangs…had a season-best two touchdowns with both coming in the second half of the victory over Washington State, ending with four grabs for 58 yards…Made a season-high five catches as a starter at Michigan, compiling 64 receiving yards, including a 30-yard effort…Was the team’s leading receiver vs. Texas Christian, logging three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. One of his catches vs. the Horned Frogs went for 39 yards…Logged playing time at Air Force, but did not record a stat … Had 95 receiving yards and a touchdown vs. Wyoming, including a 44-yarder, totaling four receptions, despite playing with a broken hand suffered vs. Air Force…Added six receptions and 58 yards at Colorado State and exploded vs. Boise State, setting season-highs of eight catches, 113 yards and two touch-downs…Caught four passes for 68 yards at Nevada-Las Vegas and posted his second 100-yard receiving game of his career vs. Fresno State, hauling in six balls for 125 yards…Had four catches for 70 yards in the New Orleans Bowl vs. Louisiana-Lafayette.

 

2010 SEASON

Escobar was named second-team freshman All-American by Rivals.com, College Football News and Phil Steele.com…The second-team All-Mountain West Conference pick played in all thirteen contests, starting the last twelve, as he finished third on the team with 29 catches for 323 yards (11.14 ypc) and four touchdowns…Produced nineteen receptions for either first downs or touchdowns in 2010…Played in his first career game as an Aztec, logging his first career catch for 27 yards in the opening win over Nicholls State…His first career start and first career touchdown at New Mexico State ended the 41-21 win over the Aggies, tallying two catches for 33 yards, including a 14-yard score in the first quarter… Had two grabs for 57 yards vs. Utah State, as his season-long 45-yard reception in the first quarter set up the team’s second touchdown…his only catch at Brigham Young was a one-yard touchdown on a critical fourth-down play…Recorded his second consecutive game with a touchdown, making a spectacular one-handed catch for an eight-yard score in the second half vs. Air Force, as that reception was rated second on ESPN’s top plays of the day…Totaled four receptions for 42 yards vs. Colorado State and registered six catches for 62 yards vs. Utah, including a 14-yard touchdown.

 

2009 SEASON

Escobar red-shirted as a freshman.

 

INJURY REPORT

2010 Season…Suffered a broken bone in his left hand vs. Air Force (10/16), but did not miss any games, as he played in several contests wearing a soft cast.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.84 in the 40-yard dash…1.70 10-yard dash…2.81 20-yard dash…4.31 20-yard shuttle…

11.86 60-yard shuttle…7.07 three-cone drill…32-inch vertical jump…9’6” broad jump… Bench pressed 225 pounds 24 times…33 5/8-inch arm length…9 ¾-inch hands…78 7/8-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Escobar attended Santa Margarita Catholic High School in Orange County, California, playing football for head coach Mike Jacot…On the gridiron, he competed as a 185-pound defensive end and tight end during his junior season, catching eleven balls for 163 yards and a score…Earned All-Trinity League second-team honors as a 215-pound wide receiver during his senior season, making 37 catches for 492 yards and six touchdowns…The high-light for that season was when he had seven receptions for 130 yards vs. St. Bonaventure, the eventual state Division III champion, as he earned player of the game accolades for his performance…Received a two-star prospect rating in football and was ranked the 79th-best tight end in the nation by Scout.com…Placed 20th on the “Top 20 Orange County Recruits for the Class of 2009″ list by ocvarsity.com…In basketball, he lettered as a junior and senior for coach Jerry DeBusk…His first campaign in hoops came for an Eagles team that ranked sixth in the state of California after compiling a 30-5 record in 2007…The team produced a 22-9 mark during his final season.

 

PERSONAL

Public Administration major, with a minor in history…Son of Erin and Harry Escobar… Born 2/03/91 in New York City, New York…Resides in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

RECEIVING STATISTICS…R/PG indicates receptions per game…GM/AVG indicates average yards gained per game.
STATS GP GS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG R/PG GM/AVG
2010 13 12   29     0323 11.14  04    45  2.23      24.85
2011 13 05   51     0780 15.29  07    55  3.92      60.00
2012 13 06   42     0543 12.93  06    52  3.23      41.77
TOTAL 39 23 122     1646 13.49  17    55  3.13      42.21

 

RUSHING STATISTICS KICKOFF RETURNS
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2012  02        07 03.50  00    09  01        11 11.00  00    11

ADDITIONAL STATISTICS…Recorded a solo tackle vs. Missouri in 2010.

 

THE PRODUCTION LINE

GAVIN ESCOBAR 2012 RECEIVING STATISTICAL PERFORMANCE CHART

Opponent PT PB REC YDS TD LG 1st 3rd 4th RZ 10+ 20+ SD
Washington

04

00

02

008

00

04

00

0/0

0/1

0/0

00

00

0/0

Army

03

01

02

034

00

29

01

0/0

0/0

0/0

01

01

1/0

North Dakota

05

00

05

117

01

35

04

0/0

0/0

0/0

04

04

2/0

San Jose State

08

00

05

046

01

17

04

2/0

1/0

1/1

03

00

1/1

Fresno State

03

01

01

033

00

33

01

0/0

0/0

0/0

01

01

1/0

Hawaii

05

02

02

016

00

09

00

0/2

0/0

1/0

00

00

1/0

Colorado State

06

00

04

024

00

09

02

1/1

0/0

0/0

00

00

0/1

Nevada

06

00

05

039

02

21

02

0/0

0/0

2/1

01

01

2/0

Nevada-Las Vegas

06

00

04

108

01

52

04

0/1

0/0

1/0

04

02

1/0

Boise State

07

00

05

058

00

25

03

2/2

0/0

0/0

03

01

0/0

Air Force

02

00

00

000

00

00

00

0/3

0/0

0/0

00

00

0/0

Wyoming

08

01

06

036

01

12

03

0/1

3/0

0/0

02

00

2/0

Brigham Young

03

00

01

024

00

24

01

0/0

0/0

0/0

01

01

0/1

TOTAL

66

05

42

543

06

52

25

5/10

4/1

6/2

20

11

11/3

 

NOTE-PT indicates the amount of balls thrown to the receiver…PB indicates amount of pass thrown to receiver that were deflected by the opposition…REC indicates receptions made…YDS indicates yards gained…TD indicates touchdown catches…LG indicates longest reception…1st indicates receptions good for first downs…3rd indicates third-down catches that were converted into first downs/third-down passes that the receiver failed to convert into first downs…4th indicates fourth down catches that were converted into first downs/fourth down passes that the receiver failed to convert into first downs…RZ indicates successful/unsuccessful catches inside the red zone…10+ indicates catches for 10 yards or longer…20+ indicates catches for 20 yards or longer…SD indicates key catches on scoring drives (touchdowns/field goals).

 

 

 

ESCOBAR GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Rushing

Receiving

Kickoff
Ret.

Pts

No

Gain

Loss

Net

TDs

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Washington 09/01/12 at Washington 12-21

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

Army 09/08/12 Army 42-7

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

2

34

0

0

0

0

0

0

North Dakota 09/15/12 North Dakota 49-41

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

5

117

1

0

0

0

1

6

San Jose St. 09/22/12 San Jose St. 34-38

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

5

46

1

0

0

0

1

6

Fresno St. 09/29/12 at Fresno St. 40-52

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

33

0

0

0

0

0

0

Hawaii 10/06/12 Hawaii 52-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

2

16

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado St. 10/13/12 Colorado St. 38-14

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

4

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

Nevada 10/20/12 at Nevada 39-38

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

5

39

2

0

0

0

2

12

UNLV 10/27/12 UNLV 24-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

4

108

1

0

0

0

1

6

Boise St. 11/03/12 at Boise St. 21-19

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

5

58

0

0

0

0

0

0

Air Force 11/10/12 Air Force 28-9

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

11

0

0

0

Wyoming 11/24/12 at Wyoming 42-28

Yes

2

9

2

7

0

6

36

1

0

0

0

1

6

BYU 12/20/12 BYU 6-23

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

1

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

2

9

2

7

0

42

543

6

1

11

0

6

36

 

2011 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Receiving

Pts

Tackles

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Cal Poly 09/03/11 Cal Poly 49-21

Yes

4

36

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

Army 09/10/11 at Army 23-20

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Washington St. 09/17/11 Washington St. 42-24

Yes

4

58

2

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan 09/24/11 at Michigan 7-28

Yes

5

64

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TCU 10/08/11 TCU 14-27

Yes

3

68

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

Air Force 10/13/11 at Air Force 41-27

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wyoming 10/29/11 Wyoming 27-30

Yes

4

95

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

New Mexico 11/05/11 New Mexico 35-7

Yes

3

25

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado St. 11/12/11 at Colorado St. 18-15

Yes

6

58

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Boise St. 11/19/11 Boise St. 35-52

Yes

8

113

2

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

UNLV 11/26/11 at UNLV 31-14

Yes

4

68

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Fresno St. 12/03/11 Fresno St. 35-28

Yes

6

125

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

La.-Lafayette 12/17/11 at La.-Lafayette 30-32

Yes

4

70

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

51

780

7

7

42

0

0

0

0

0

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Receiving

Pts

Tackles

No

Yds

TD

TTL
TDs

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Nicholls St. 09/04/10 Nicholls St. 47-0

Yes

1

27

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

New Mexico St. 09/11/10 at New Mexico St. 41-21

Yes

2

33

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

Missouri 09/18/10 at Missouri 24-27

Yes

2

5

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

Utah St. 09/25/10 Utah St. 41-7

Yes

2

57

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BYU 10/09/10 at BYU 21-24

Yes

1

1

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

Air Force 10/16/10 Air Force 27-25

Yes

1

8

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

New Mexico 10/23/10 at New Mexico 30-20

Yes

2

11

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wyoming 10/30/10 at Wyoming 48-38

Yes

1

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Colorado St. 11/06/10 Colorado St. 24-19

Yes

4

42

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TCU 11/13/10 at TCU 35-40

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Utah 11/20/10 Utah 34-38

Yes

6

65

1

1

6

0

0

0

0

0

UNLV 11/27/10 UNLV 48-14

Yes

4

42

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 12/23/10 Navy 35-14

Yes

3

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

29

323

4

4

24

0

1

0

0

0

 

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of The NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com; Tony Softli Draft Board