Detroit Lions’ silver lining: The recent play of Eric Ebron
Despite the down season in the Motor City, the play of tight end Eric Ebron late in the year has been a silver lining for the Detroit Lions.
I have to admit, like many others, I wanted the Detroit Lions to move former first round selection Eric Ebron before the NFL’s Halloween trade deadline. Although the former 10th overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft had shown slow progress over his first three seasons in the league, it was far from the dominate player most expected the Motor City to benefit from starting day one.
Throughout his young career, Ebron has struggled with drops and inconsistent play on a Lions’ roster that was screaming for offensive playmakers. And with a quality quarterback like Matthew Stafford under center, the ball is often all but gift-wrapped for his offensive weapons.
Yet, during his rookie season, Ebron recorded just 25 total receptions for 245 yards and one score. His second year, the young tight end’s catches nearly doubled and his he upped his touchdown total to five.
Last season, Ebron’s reception total jumped again, this time to 61 catches for 711 yards and two total touchdowns. Although his numbers were somewhat impressive, the fact he also had seven drops, which was tied for third most in the NFL, only highlighted the fact the former first rounder was still struggling to live up to his lofty draft status.
Through the first nine games of 2017, Ebron recorded a disappointing 20 receptions for 234 yards and one touchdown. But since Week 11, the 24-year old has taken his game to another level. Demonstrating a nice connection with Stafford, Ebron has posted a total of 32 catches for 331 yards and two scores in the Lions’ last six outings.
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This string of quality performances by Eric Ebron is a silver lining for another down year in Detroit where the playoffs are now out of reach. Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn appears to have made another stellar decision by keeping Ebron on the roster this season and picking up his fifth-year option for 2018 early on.