By Dan Jenkins
Fans haven’t been happy with Eric Ebron ever since he was drafted No. 10 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft — fair or not.
While the team had many other positions of need, the Detroit Lions’ front office opted to select a tight end with its first-round pick. That draft position meant Ebron came to Detroit with higher expectations than a normal tight end, something he hasn’t yet lived up to.
In 2015, the North Carolina product recorded 47 catches, five touchdowns and five dropped passes. With Calvin Johnson now gone, Ebron will now be counted on to be more of a threat in the Lions’ offense, which is why ESPN NFL Nation reporter Michael Rothstein says he is the Lions player with the most to prove in the coming season.
“There are others besides Ebron who could fit in this category, but as GM Bob Quinn said during the combine, by the third year you know if someone is a player or not. This will be Ebron’s third season, and while he has shown improvement, the Lions need him to have a breakout third year. With Calvin Johnson retired, Ebron is going to become the team’s main mismatch and more of a deep threat. He should see a lot more targets as well. If the Lions are successful in 2016, Ebron should be a big player in the offense.”
Living up to on-the-field expectations isn’t the only thing that has troubled Ebron in his two seasons in Detroit. The 23-year-old has received criticism for some of the things he’s done in his personal life.
An active social media user, Ebron has made some questionable decisions on Twitter over the past couple years, including tweeting out photos of a very vulgar t-shirt that he designed and firing back at fans and media member for criticizing him.
However, if he begins producing on the field, most of the negative noise surrounding Ebron should go away.