Bob Quinn: Draft could dictate decision on Eric Ebron's option

Eric Ebron has improved every year as a tight end with the Detroit Lions. Whether that's enough to merit picking up his fifth-year option is still up for discussion.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn said Thursday that no decision has been made yet about whether to pick up Ebron's option for 2018. Quinn said what the franchise does in the draft could alter how the Lions view their positioning with Ebron, who was the No. 10 pick in the 2014 draft.

"It's a possibility," Quinn said. "We're still in the process of evaluating Eric's situation. We have until May 2, so we'll use our time."

The Lions have little at tight end other than Ebron. Cole Wick spent most of last season on injured reserve, and Darren Fells -- primarily a blocking tight end -- signed a one-year contract with the Lions. Kennard Backman and Khari Lee lack experience.

So it's a position the Lions could look to address early in the draft. Miami's David Njoku has been mentioned as a possibility with the No. 21 pick, and if Alabama's O.J. Howard somehow fell to to that spot, he might be too talented for the Lions not to consider.

Quinn said he has an idea of what way he would go with Ebron but that a decision hasn't been made. Quinn said the Lions have not had a lot of group conversations about the future of Ebron, who is under contract for 2017 regardless.

"Just something we've talked very little about over the past couple months," Quinn said. "The deadline is coming up in two weeks, so we'll spend the next two weeks discussing it and we'll kind of see how it goes."

Ebron has 133 catches for 1,496 yards and seven touchdowns in his career. He's had better numbers every year, including career highs in receptions (61) and yards (711) in 2015. His 11.7 yards-per-catch average was also a career-best.

However, the 24-year-old from North Carolina has missed games because of injury every season. He dealt with ankle and knee issues last season.