The first round is in the books and I bet just about every Lions fan is surprised about the selection of Eric Ebron. Many Lions fans, including myself, assumed that the Lions were going to take wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Reports indicated that Watkins would be the Lions choice via trade up early in the draft process and up to the final minutes before the draft.
But it wasn’t the Lions who picked Watkins, it was the Buffalo Bills, who gave up a future first and fourth round pick to acquire his services. Can you image the mixed emotions among fans if the Lions gave up that kind of currency for Watkins?
Instead, the Lions drafted the highest rated player on their board that will have an immediate impact on the team from day one, which was their goal- and they retained all of their draft pick in the process. That’s an exceptional job by the front office and fans should be excited about that, even if it was unexpected.
Looking at Ebron there are few flaws in his game, but the flaws that exist are correctable. For all the exceptional catches he makes he can also have some lapses in concentration. That’s correctable. He hasn’t shown the ability to be a great blocker, but he also wasn’t asked to block much at North Carolina. That’s something he can improve on but the Lions won’t suddenly ask him to be a full-time in-line tight end either.
What makes Ebron such a great pick for the Lions is his versatility in a creative and versatile offense. Ebron can play in the slot, as an in-line receiver, and he can cause match up nightmares anywhere on the field. He can take advantage of his match ups, and he will have a lot of favorable match ups playing with Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and Reggie Bush, and produce immediately at a high level. The Lions offense will truly be a pick your poison offense.
Martin Mayhew said that the team’s goal is to draft three player that can contribute from day one. The Lions are one for one with the rest of their picks intact and a chance to replicate the success of last year’s draft class.