Most Detroit Lions fans expected a WR, DB, or LB to be drafted by Detroit first. After all, it’s easy to look at where the roster has holes and expect those positions to take priority in the draft. Fact is, the Lions have always maintained a draft strategy of ‘best player available,’ and when the 10th pick came around, the Lions took the best guy on the board: Eric Ebron.
Ebron led all players at the TE position in both the 40-yard dash and the broad jump. He was rated by the Lions as the #2 overall offensive player in the draft. He is expected to be a big play making threat in the passing game, though most reports have him as a somewhat weak blocker. Nevertheless, many fans wanted another high-quality receiving target for Stafford, and Ebron surely is that.
Ebron thinks of himself as a big threat, a play-maker, and certainly he was the best pass-catcher that was available at the 10th pick. Confidence is a fine quality to have, but too much of that can make him seem egotistical and can possibly make fans view him as a diva. So long as he isn’t throwing any ‘gimmie the ball’ tantrums on the sideline, there shouldn’t be an issue. As soon as he starts putting up numbers, the grumbling will die down from those who kept shouting DEFENSE.
The analysts on NFL network had mixed opinions on this pick. While they agreed that Ebron was a beast, that he would be an excellent player and he was probably the best player on the board at that point, a few analysts thought defense was a much bigger concern for Detroit and should have been addressed. Some point out that Clinton-Dix was still there, on top of the fact that TE was hardly a ‘need’ for the Lions. Now Clinton-Dix is a Packer and he’s expected to help cover Ebron and Fauria in an NFC North division that just keeps getting tougher.
The Lions didn’t get a ton of praise for the pick. In fact, they received a few poor draft grades. It might be important at this point to remember the ‘A’ re-grade Detroit got from last year’s draft. Hindsight is 20/20, and the best thing that fans can do at this point is stay optimistic and give Ebron a chance to show what he can do.