Is Eric Ebron the next Jimmy Graham?


Earlier today Lance Moore was asked about Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron. He had the following to say.

That’s high praise coming from Lance Moore. Comparing the second year tight end to arguably the best tight end in the NFL is quite aspirational. The two certainly have some similarities as far size and speed. But it pretty much ends there. I’m fairly confident that Eric Ebron will not be the next Jimmy Graham, and that’s ok.

Ebron does not need to be the next Jimmy Graham to have a successful career. The way I see it, Eric Ebron could be one of the next three things.

The next first round bust

This could happen to anyone. It happens every year. A player is selected in the first round and is expected to be a stud year one. Trent Richardson is a perfect example of what Eric Ebron could become. A guy that was highly touted coming out of college, but couldn’t translate that success to the pro’s. Richardson is now on his third team in four years and the speculation is out that he may not make the Raiders. Thus ending his career in the minds of some.

A lot would have to go wrong for Ebron to fall in this category. A lot more than a less than stellar rookie year.

The next Martellus Bennett

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

To me, this is exactly where Eric Ebron is headed. Bennett and Ebron are similar is stature and speed. Their game is similar as well. To be like Martellus Bennett is one heck of consolation prize if you’re expecting a Jimmy Graham type.

In the last three seasons, Bennett has averaged 70 receptions for 767 yards and six touchdowns. I can’t imagine any Lions fan not welcoming that type of production. Bennett has also consistently improved year after year, putting 90 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 2014. As well as making his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Like Ebron, Bennett was a high round pick and had trouble picking up the pro game early in his career. This led to his dismissal from the Dallas Cowboys after four years of struggling. That’s not to say that Eric Ebron is going to struggle for four years, But like any other tight end, he’s going have a learning curve.

The first Eric Ebron

Make no mistake, this isn’t a proclamation. I’m asking the question of what if? What if Eric Ebron surpasses Jimmy Graham? What Eric Ebron doesn’t surpass Graham, yet still has a great career? In the en it’s all a big what if?

Eric Ebron’s career and success is up to Eric Ebron. While I don’t think he’s the next Jimmy Graham, I also don’t think it matters in the end. What I’ve seen from Ebron this summer has shown me that he was humbled in his rookie year. I also see that he has the drive to improve and has been putting in the work. That’s really all any Lions fan can ask for at this exact moment.

It comes down to this. If you’re buying into the narrative and you think Eric Ebron is Jimmy Graham or bust. That’s your fault when it doesn’t happen. Realistic fan expectations have to come into play. Not only with Ebron, but with any other young developing player.

Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Unless anyone you know has a flux capacitor, we’ll just have to wait and see what Eric Ebron will become. In the meantime I invite you to check out SideLion’s own Nick Pursel’s scouting report on Eric Ebron. Also be sure to vote below for how you think Eric Ebron will wind up.

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