The Detroit Lions used their No. 10 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft to select North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. With Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria already on the roster, Ebron will have to work very hard to become the No. 1 guy. However, with his size and skill set, he’ll be the starter sooner rather than later.
In 2013, the Lions didn’t get great production from their tight ends. Pettigrew finished with 41 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns, the lowest since 2009. Fauria, on the other hand, came out of nowhere and scored a lot of touchdowns. He caught 18 passes for 207 yards and seven scores. The downside was that Fauria didn’t catch a lot of passes during games; his season-high was three.
Ebron became a starter for the Tar Heels at 19 years old as a sophomore. In his three seasons, Ebron racked up 112 receptions for 1,805 yards and eight touchdowns. He has great hands and a big frame (6-foot-4 and 250 pounds). Many experts are comparing him to Vernon Davis with TE1 potential. His route-running and moves are seamless, and he will be a great addition to the Lions’ offense.
From a fantasy perspective, Ebron has a lot of competition for the starting job. Pettigrew is getting up there in age (29) and has seen his production drop in recent seasons. Fauria is more of a red zone target for Matthew Stafford. Expect to see Ebron make his debut this season in some two-TE sets. It won’t be long before he takes over as the No. 1 tight end.
Ebron isn’t worth drafting right away. Wait to see how the Lions use him during training camp and preseason before moving him up and down on your rankings. He’ll be a superstar tight end very quickly.