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 Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE 
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Post Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2014/05/09/eric-ebron-lions-will-use-me-like-saints-use-jimmy-graham/

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May 9th, 2014, 7:05 am
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
Thanks to UK Lion for finding and posting this in the Draft section (viewtopic.php?f=15&t=17247&p=243524#p243524)

Quote:
Addressing misconceptions of the Eric Ebron pick
By Jeremy Reisman  @DetroitOnLion on May 9 2014, 12:24p

e Detroit Lions' first-round draft pick of Eric Ebron has not been met with a lot of positivity thus far. CBS gave the pick a C+ (the worst grade given out for a first-round pick this year), Walter Football also gave them a C+ and here at Pride Of Detroit the pick only has a 55% approval rating. To put that in perspective, only one team in our community mock draft had a lower approval rating in the first round.

While there are legitimate reasons to criticize this pick, I have seen a lot of arguments that don't make sense or are just flat out wrong. Let me clear up these misconceptions:

1. This is a luxury pick for a position the Lions don't need
Quote:
From CBS's Pete Prisco:

This kid has a ton of talent, but is he really a need? They had other more pressing needs

This is just wrong. If you thought the Lions needed a receiver, then this pick fits a need. Ebron will be a receiver first, tight end second. The Lions have already announced that they plan on using Ebron in a Jimmy Graham-like role. If the Lions plan on adopting the New Orleans Saints' style of offense -- and it certainly seems like they do -- that role was empty. Brandon Pettigrew's days of grabbing 80+ receptions are over. Joseph Fauria was very good last year... in a very limited role. It's highly unlikely he'd ever grow to become an essential part of this offense.

Ebron brings athleticism that neither of those two have and a ceiling as high as an elite tight end. I think we can agree the Lions did not have a potential elite tight end on the roster before Thursday night.

2. This pick makes the Pettigrew re-signing look stupid

Hey, I'll even admit I made this argument in the moments after the Lions drafted Ebron. But all it took was a look back on an article I wrote three months ago to remind myself that Pettigrew isn't done as a Lion:
Quote:
Brandon Pettigrew is set to become a free agent, but he could fit [Benjamin] Watson's role pretty well. Pettigrew is more well-rounded than Fauria as a blocker and receiver and could possibly benefit from a slightly diminished role as a receiver.
Benjamin Watson was the Saints' second tight end on the roster, and his role was not small with New Orleans. While his stat sheet may look unimpressive (19 receptions, 221 yards, 2 TDs), he was actually very important to the Saints, playing 44% of their snaps in 2013.

The biggest criticism you can make of the Pettigrew re-signing is that they overpaid him. He is making approximately $1 million more per year than Watson. But there was no guarantee that the Lions would have grabbed Ebron. They had to be prepared to play Pettigrew as a potential No. 1 tight end and bump his pay to convince him.

It's also important to note that while Pettigrew is on a four-year deal, his contract is very easy to get out of after two years. If the Lions were to cut him in 2016, it would save them $8 million dollars and only cost them $2 million in dead money.

3. What about defense?

Going along with the "bigger needs" argument is the misconception that the Lions are fine on offense while in desperate need on defense. Never mind that there are still six rounds in the draft left to address the other side of the ball, the notion that the Lions offense is "fine" is a bit puzzling. Yes, the Lions racked up a ton of yards last year, but their scoring was absolutely terrible considering those yards.

As noted by Reno09 in the comments section, the Lions offense was actually less efficient than the defense last year, according to the advanced statistics of Football Outsiders. Sure, the defense needs fixing too, but the offense was not where it needed to be.

Also, as I noted earlier in the week, the Lions are actually spending a considerable amount more on defense in 2014. The illusion that the Lions overspend on offensive toys is just that: an illusion (Michael).

4. Ebron's drops are a huge concern

If this is your only concern about the Ebron pick, I'm right there with you. I'm not going to try and sugarcoat or gloss over Ebron's 11.4% drop rate in 2013. It's not good. It's not as bad as some of you think, but it's not good. You'd like to think that the number will go down with a better quarterback, but no one can know that for sure.

The truth is tight ends typically drop a lot of passes because they are usually put in the most difficult spots to make catches. Balls are fit into tight windows, tight ends are usually draped by at least one defender and tight ends don't typically have a lot of space to deal with.

Dropped passes is also a very subjective stat. Percentages can vary wildly depending on the source. Just last year, Calvin Johnson's drop rate was either 10.6% or 5.1%, depending on your source.

All that being said, drops are still definitely a concern. You don't have to look far into the tape to see some bad-looking drops. But even with those drops, Ebron managed to set the ACC record for receiving yards for a tight end in a single season.

Overall, while his drops are definitely a concern, Ebron will undeniably be an instant upgrade at the tight end position. His role in Detroit is clearly defined, and his fit is easy to see. That's why I have to agree with Michael Schottey of Bleacher Report (who is -- in full disclosure -- also a Lions fan) when he wrote the following:
Quote:
He can coexist with Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria, as they all play vastly different roles. In the red zone, all three will see the field (along with Johnson) and drive defenses crazy.
I think Ebron will be a fine fit in Detroit, and was a decent pick at 10 overall.


http://www.prideofdetroit.com/2014/5/9/ ... ions-lions

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May 9th, 2014, 1:10 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
http://draftbreakdown.com/video/eric-eb ... iami-2013/

Here's another, this one from 2012

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May 9th, 2014, 2:17 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
ESPN Sports Science

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May 9th, 2014, 2:27 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
Could this be the Lions new base set: 2WRs 2TEs 1RB


CJ Ebron xxxxx Pett Tate
Stafford
Bush/Bell


Looks like it would leave lots of options for run or pass

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May 9th, 2014, 3:01 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
TheRealWags wrote:
Could this be the Lions new base set: 2WRs 2TEs 1RB


CJ Ebron xxxxx Pett Tate
Stafford
Bush/Bell

Looks like it would leave lots of options for run or pass


I really like that offense in two primary scenarios...

1) Playing against a 3-4 defense, too bad the NFCN is all 4-3
2) Playing in a read-option offense like SF or SEA, to bad Staff can't run

I also like it if Ebron can block and you can fool defenses between the 2 tight ends, he just isn't versatile enough.

That said, the model of an offense in a 2-TE set and without a mobile QB is New England when they had Brady, Gronk and Hernandez. The Pats were excellent at shifting both TEs to the same side causing a heavy run formation to that side and creating mismatches with one of the TEs on a LB in play action. With Pett, however, the mismatch isn't as great as it would be with either Gronk or Hernandez.

I'm sure Lombardi has some mismatches already in store with Ebron in mind - it will be fun to see how creative they are in 2014.

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May 9th, 2014, 4:30 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
I agree with Pablo.

I think the end grade on Ebron will be based on primarily on two things:

1) Can he get rid of the Dropsies.
2) How Creatively does Lombardi use him.


May 9th, 2014, 5:17 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
Could this be the Lions new base set: 2WRs 2TEs 1RB


CJ Ebron xxxxx Pett Tate
Stafford
Bush/Bell

Looks like it would leave lots of options for run or pass


I really like that offense in two primary scenarios...

1) Playing against a 3-4 defense, too bad the NFCN is all 4-3
2) Playing in a read-option offense like SF or SEA, to bad Staff can't run

I also like it if Ebron can block and you can fool defenses between the 2 tight ends, he just isn't versatile enough.

That said, the model of an offense in a 2-TE set and without a mobile QB is New England when they had Brady, Gronk and Hernandez. The Pats were excellent at shifting both TEs to the same side causing a heavy run formation to that side and creating mismatches with one of the TEs on a LB in play action. With Pett, however, the mismatch isn't as great as it would be with either Gronk or Hernandez.

I'm sure Lombardi has some mismatches already in store with Ebron in mind - it will be fun to see how creative they are in 2014.


Packers are still technically a 3-4 team, they are just adding in more of the hybrid looks Seattle uses as their base.


May 9th, 2014, 6:04 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
interesting tape wags, didnt know that ebron can play some DE, wasnt bad there either. speaks to his athleticism


May 9th, 2014, 9:32 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
1. This is a luxury pick for a position the Lions don't need - Wrong the Lions needed somebody on offense who could make teams pay for over guarding Johonson. The Lions didn't have that player on the roster.

2. This pick makes the Pettigrew re-signing look stupid - Last time I looked the Lions were still running a two tight end offense if anything Ebron replaces the departed Tony Scheffler. And gives the Lions offense far more flexibility.

3. What about defense? - The best defensive player on the board was Aaron Donald hardly a current need for the Lions. It's also pretty apparent that the Lions had targeted Van Noy in the second.

4. Ebron's drops are a huge concern - His drops are concern only if he continues to drop the ball. I remember Herman Moore had trouble catching the ball as rookie only to become one of the more sure handed receivers.

I believe the best defensive players (Clowney, Mack, Gilbert, Barr) outside of Donald were already off the board. I really don't think a guy like Ryan Shazier who went #15 wasn't all that much better than guy they got #40 in Kyle Van Noy.

I truly believe Ebron was among the top 15 players in the draft something Lions wouldn't have gotten if they had traded down. And don't feel the talent in the second half of the first round was all that much better than the talent available at the top of the second round.

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May 10th, 2014, 9:51 am
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
I was not happy at all with this pick. There were too many, "fills a need" players left on the board, with similar (or better) grades.

Suh may not be here next season, and the Lions have put Fairley on notice he might not be a Lion next year either. Why not Aaron Donald?

Houston has a gimp foot, Slay was inconsistent last year, and no one seems convinced that Greenwood, et al are going to suddenly turn into decent NFL-caliber DBs. Clinton-Dix, Dennard, Fuller, and Pryor were all available.

A whole lotta LBs were available, not to mention top-rated OTs and guards.

Instead, Mayhew went with a TE, when we've got an experienced (and cheaper) clone already on the roster in Fauria, and a mauler to block coming back off IR, *and* the team re-signed Pettigrew.

So no... didn't like this pick at all.

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May 11th, 2014, 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
JL wrote:
Instead, Mayhew went with a TE, when we've got an experienced (and cheaper) clone already on the roster in Fauria.

I love Fauria. Literally my favourite Lion on the current roster. But that statement is a massive stretch.


May 11th, 2014, 3:07 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
JL wrote:
Houston has a gimp foot, Slay was inconsistent last year, and no one seems convinced that Greenwood, et al are going to suddenly turn into decent NFL-caliber DBs. Clinton-Dix, Dennard, Fuller, and Pryor were all available.


Who's to say that Dix, Dennard, Fuller, Pryor, and Gilbert will end up becoming decent NFL-caliber DBs? They would have to go through their learning curves this year before they would be noticeable improvements over what we have now. Our young DBs are still developing and it's far too early to write Slay off.

The rationale for taking the TE is that he's potentially an "elite talent" whereas the DBs are just normal later first round talent DBs; they're not all that special. None are projected to be the next Deion Sanders or Champ Bailey.

The value of adding a large and fast TE/WR that could help make our offense elite probably trumps the value of adding another DB that will not necessarily improve our defense until 8 games in (at which point it will still be mediocre or average).

Quote:
A whole lotta LBs were available, not to mention top-rated OTs and guards.


We got our LB in the 2nd round.

Quote:
Instead, Mayhew went with a TE, when we've got an experienced (and cheaper) clone already on the roster in Fauria, and a mauler to block coming back off IR, *and* the team re-signed Pettigrew.


Cross off TE and replace it with WR and the pick will make more sense. He's more WR than TE. Think WR Mike Evans but a little bigger with worse hands. I've read that Pettigrew was getting worn down playing 95% of the offensive snaps and had some injury issues and we needed another pass-catching TE to take some of those snaps.


May 11th, 2014, 4:57 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
Growler wrote:
Think WR Mike Evans but a little bigger with worse hands.


You're not really doing a good sales job there. If it was a WR they were looking for, there were a bunch of them still there, such as Odell Beckham Jr., not as tall but faster, better hands, and better route runners.

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May 11th, 2014, 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Lions 1st Round Pick: Eric Ebram TE
JL wrote:
I was not happy at all with this pick. There were too many, "fills a need" players left on the board, with similar (or better) grades.

Suh may not be here next season, and the Lions have put Fairley on notice he might not be a Lion next year either. Why not Aaron Donald?

Houston has a gimp foot, Slay was inconsistent last year, and no one seems convinced that Greenwood, et al are going to suddenly turn into decent NFL-caliber DBs. Clinton-Dix, Dennard, Fuller, and Pryor were all available.

A whole lotta LBs were available, not to mention top-rated OTs and guards.

Instead, Mayhew went with a TE, when we've got an experienced (and cheaper) clone already on the roster in Fauria, and a mauler to block coming back off IR, *and* the team re-signed Pettigrew.

So no... didn't like this pick at all.


Donald is another 3 tech DT and while I don't think anyone would have been down on that pick I also don't think it's a great fit. While the Lions were running a wide-9 as their base defense it made sense to go with 2 3 tech DTs, but I think now your going to see them move away from that if Fairley doesn't stick around. Also while Donald's production and combine numbers were great he doesn't really fit in with the height and length the Lions have been looking for in linemen since last year.

In the case of DBs it's very unlikely any of the CBs will be suitable starters this season. Both Fuller and Dennard went to teams that have starters for this year so they can learn while playing sparingly. For the safeties it would be very a slim chance either would replace the 2 current starters. Pryor would have the best chance since he fits what they are looking for in a SS, but neither safety was worth a selection that high in the draft as seen by the fact both fell past two of the most safety needy teams and were not drafted until pick 18 and 21.

There were only 2 LBs taken in the whole first round and neither fits the Lions. Shazier would be a weakside linebacker in a 4-3 and Mosley is an inside guy, the Lions don't need either right now. The Lions also don't need immediate help at OT or OG, so taking a 1st round lineman wouldn't have had much value at all other than depth.

Fauria is in no way a clone of Ebron or any athletic pass catching TE for that matter. Fauria is the same physically as any other tall conventional TE except he gives up any type of blocking ability for great hands. Fauria is also a terrible route runner and adds very little outside of the redzone. I really like Fauria, but the guy is nothing more than a 3rd TE you put on the field to create mismatches in the redzone.

The Lions are trying to get back to what made them successful in 2011 which had 1 great WR in CJ, two good roleplayers in Nate and Tidus, and a WR/TE hybrid in Scheff to go along with a balanced TE in Pett. With the addition of Ebron, they just need Broyles, TJ Jones, or Ross to break out as the 3rd guy at WR to get that good scoring offense back again.


May 11th, 2014, 6:58 pm
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