Eric Ebron Makes Sense for the Detroit Lions


Oct 17, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs for a touchdown as Miami Hurricanes defensive back Antonio Crawford (21) defends in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL draft getting pushed backed this year it gives us all a little more time to (over)analyze all of the options for the Lions. One guy I’ve been enamored with throughout the process has been North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. He’s a freak athlete for his size, and can really cause mismatches all over the field.

In this week’s MMQB article, Peter King joined in on the fun. While he did say he doubts the Lions to pounce on the Tar Heel tight end, he did offer up this:

"Asked by one team he visited recently who he thought would pick him. “Detroit,’’ he said."

What Eric Ebron may lack as a blocker, he makes up for with charisma and confidence. He clearly feels like the Lions are interested in him, and I think they will be if they stay put on draft day. There’s a lot to like. Ebron is an effortless athlete. If you’re not quite sure what that looks like, watch Brandon Pettigrew–and now think of the complete opposite. If you still can’t get the picture, here’s a great video summary from Erick Ward at

I know tight end doesn’t seem like a pressing need with Joe Fauria on the roster and re-signing Brandon Pettigrew, but Eric Ebron is on another level from both of those guys. Fauria is a great story and gives Ebron a run for his money in the personality department, but in the end I want to see it on the field.

You also have to think about the coaching staff that the Lions have put together. Joe Lombardi has experience working with Jimmy Graham, and Jim Caldwell was in Indianapolis during the Dallas Clark heydays. Both of these guys know the importance of having that movable chess piece in their offense.

In 2013, Eric Ebron set records for receptions (63) and receiving yards (973). Combine Eric Ebron with Megatron, Golden Tate, and Reggie Bush and the Lions can create an ideal scenario in their base offense.

Think of it this way, you come out in this formation with both tight ends on the line of scrimmage. The defense has base personnel with three linebackers and two safeties. If it’s anything like last season, the safeties are going to be deep to protect against Calvin Johnson. The Lions are now in a prime running scenario with seven blockers on the line of scrimmage. If the Lions then motion Ebron into the slot the defense has to make its next move, either move a linebacker to cover Ebron (a huge mismatch) or drop one of the safeties into the slot–freeing up Calvin Johnson.

And that is just one, very basic scenario. But you can see where the mismatches begin and why Eric Ebron makes sense for the Lions.