Sep 14, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron (85) makes a catch in the third quarter. The Panthers defeated the Lions 24-7 at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Ebron: D+. Start to finish, it was a horrible season for the rookie tight end, who struggled with drops and consistency in the offense. The team raved about his improvements as a blocker and overall development through the year, but with plenty of injury carnage around him at the position, Ebron missed a chance to make a bigger name for himself during the second half of the season doing what he was brought in to do: catching the ball. That will make him a marked man going into 2015. Next season, Ebron had better become the unquestioned leader at his position, take strides and contribute plenty, or many will feel another top draft pick was a complete waste.
Brandon Pettigrew: F. It’s possible that Pettigrew was Detroit’s worst offensive player, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. The Lions didn’t utilize him much after signing him to a massive offseason contract, and injuries also helped to derail any progress that was made. He was a quality blocker at times, but for the team to re-sign Pettigrew and witness him catch 15 passes for 70 yards had to be completely deflating.
Joseph Fauria: Incomplete. On the heels of his huge 2013 season, Fauria never stayed on the field long enough to gain a grade in 2014, which can be viewed as a combination of both bad luck and failure. Injuries were the problem early this past season for the tight end, and when back in, he never made a significant play. Going forward, Detroit’s simply not going to be able to pay three tight ends elite money, making 2015 a major year for Fauria. He’ll need to bounce back and produce for the Lions’ offense or else.