One of the most controversial positional groups in recent years for the Detroit Lions has been at tight end. But did the play of Eric Ebron last season change the trajectory of this unit?
The tight end position has been one of the most debated and controversial for the Detroit Lions for several seasons. Between 2009 and 2014, the Lions invested two first round picks in tight ends. And they spent a fourth rounder on the position just last season. All with underwhelming results.
So why do fans have to feel encouraged about this positional group in 2018? Well, let’s take a look at this current roster of tight ends and it’s free agents to find out why.
The legend of Lions’ general manager Bob Quinn continued to grow during the second half of last season for a move he didn’t make. Despite much speculation to the contrary, Quinn opted not to trade the former 10th overall selection in the 2014 draft, tight end Eric Ebron. And he was rewarded for his faith.
Although Ebron had shown steady growth during his first three seasons in Detroit, he has never lived up to his lofty draft status. And his slow start to 2017 had fans clamoring for a trade out of town. But Quinn stood pat and Ebron excelled.
Between Week 10 and Week 16 of last season, Ebron recorded 34 receptions for 370 yards and three touchdowns. And his connection with Matthew Stafford seemed to be stronger than ever. Fans should be excited to see if Ebron can build on this performance in 2018.
Beyond Ebron, current free agent Darren Fells proved himself to be a surprisingly good receiver as well as a reliable blocker. I believe Detroit should certainly try to re-sign him.
As far as rookie tight end Michael Roberts is concerned, the 2017 fourth round selection out of Toledo looked shaky in his first season with very limited snaps. But the fact Roberts missed a team meeting that resulted in him being suspended for the final game of the season left a bad taste in my mouth. That’s just another reason to re-sign Fells this offseason.