Well, it’s a rare thing when a top flight potential draft pick actually comes forward and says he would love to play for the Detroit Lions, so when he does, it call for some attention.
Tight end Eric Ebron from North Carolina declared that he would love, love, love to play with Calvin Johnson and he certainly fits a need that the Lions have. He’s fast for his position(anticipated that he’ll run a 4.5 40 yard dash), averaged over 16 yards per catch last season and will likely be available when the Lions 10th overall pick comes up.
Ebron potentially fills two holes on the Lions team, assuming they let Brandon Pettigrew leave via free agency and also as a complimentary pass catcher to Johnson. Two birds with one stone, not bad for a team with so many holes.
There is of course a downside. He hasn’t faced press coverage. He claims that is because teams realized they couldn’t do it. He also is unproven as a blocker, though he is desperate to change that perception. Even if he doesn’t, offensive co-ordinator Joe Lombardi is familiar with that type of tight end having worked with Jimmy Graham in New Orleans. It might mean the Lions would be relying on Michael Williams, who spent all of 2013 injured. It would also show that the Lions don’t believe that Joseph Fauria will evolve into a full time productive player at the position.
Ebron can be compared to 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. If he came close to being the player that Davis is, he would be a worthy selection and the Lions could consider themselves blessed to have him. A lot will be told at the combine about his actual speed and strength, but I always think those tests are overrated. Tape don’t lie, and the tape on Ebron is thrilling. If he’s available, its hard to argue against taking Ebron, unless they believe they already have what they are looking for in Fauria.