UNC Football: What impact will Tar Heel Rookies have in the NFL?


The 2014 NFL Draft has come and gone. The long wait was over and when it was all said and done the Tar Heels had five total players drafted in the seven rounds.

The first Tar Heel to go was tight end Eric Ebron who was selected 1oth overall by the Detroit Lions. After that, the Heels had to wait 74 more picks before another player from UNC was selected. With the Tar Heels figuring to have ten potential draft picks this year, five drafted is a good number for the University.

Now the question is, what impact will they have this upcoming season?

Eric Ebron, No. 10; Detroit Lions

The Lions took the 6-foot-4 tight end with the tenth overall pick in the first round as they look to booster their offense in a division with impressive offensive talent. This might be one of the better fits for Ebron as he gets to play with playmakers Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Golden Tate. He was certainly the most polished NFL prospect coming out of Carolina.

Ebron’s negative is that he’s not a good blocking tight end, so he will have to work on that. But in this Lions offense with Matthew Stafford at quarterback, Ebron can make an immediate impact.

The plan for Ebron is to be Brandon Pettigrew’s long-term replacement in Detroit. The potential for Ebron to be a star is there.

Kareem Martin, No. 84; Arizona Cardinals

Martin falls into a very interesting spot. The Cardinals play in the toughest division in football and needed to load up on defense again this season.

In steps Martin, a third round pick who can make an impact if given the chance. Martin will have the chance to start and at the very least come in on certain downs.

Martin’s strengths are his long arms, his ability to locate the play and recognize whats going on around him. The Cardinals might have a steal with Martin.

Russell Bodine, No. 111; Cincinnati Bengals

Bodine finds himself with the opportunity to start at center right away for the Bengals. They traded up to grab Bodine and he’s expected to compete with Mike Pollak for the spot.

Pollak has the early edge as he will be getting first team reps when camp starts, but Bodine will have his shot to win the job. This is the perfect destination for Bodine who wanted to compete right away.

He could be blocking for former teammate Giovanni Bernard for years to come in Cincy.

Tre Boston, No. 128; Carolina Panthers

Boston was taken just 17 picks after Bodine as the Panthers selected him in the fourth round. Boston likely won’t start right away, barring injury, but he could have a big role in the Panthers future.

The Panthers brought in two safeties to add to their stacked defense, so winning a starting spot likely won’t happen for Boston.

That doesn’t mean he won’t have an impact though.

The Panthers safeties aren’t the youngest and if Boston pans out, he could be the future at that position for Carolina. Boston has a good knack for finding the ball which could translate well for him at the NFL level.

Jabari Price, No. 223; Minnesota Vikings

The final Tar Heel drafted was corner back Jabari Price who was selected in the 7th round by the Minnesota Vikings.

Price will be fighting for a roster spot right away in camp, but does have a chance to make the team. The Vikings aren’t really deep at corner back and the talent isn’t the best, so that benefits Prices chances.

The impact for Price could be playing nickelback or coming in as a third or fourth string corner back. His speed is a strength but his size really limits him, especially going against big receivers in the NFC North.

He might also be an option at safety for the Vikings.