ALLEN PARK, Mich. --The pick: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
My take: Not the best selection. With defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the board, as well as Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, the Lions chose to ignore their defensive issues in the first round and continued to try and bolster their offense, going with Ebron. He’s a nice player but not the biggest need by any stretch for Detroit. He can’t really block well, and while he’s a good route runner, I don’t exactly love his hands. He drops catchable passes at times. He gives the Lions a Jimmy Graham-like player, but this comes after the Lions gave a three-year deal to Brandon Pettigrew.
For a team with desperate defensive needs, this pick makes such little sense. The Lions could have solidified their defensive line and offered protection for losing Ndamukong Suh or Nick Fairley with Donald. They could have taken the best cover corner in the draft in Dennard or the top safety in Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. They even could have investigated trading down. But they chose not to.
What does this mean for Joseph Fauria: This could be problematic for last season’s red zone threat and rookie standout. Ebron and Fauria kind of play the same type of tight end position -- guys who can run down the field a little bit but can’t block all that well. He could be fighting for a position in training camp now -- unless the Lions actually view him as more of a wide receiver.
What’s next: Detroit still needs a pass-catcher but should really focus on defense on Friday. Cornerbacks, safeties and pass-rushers should be the main focus in Rounds 2 and 3.