Once, just once, it would be nice if the Detroit Lions just took the safe pick, filled a need and made sense.
Many Lions fans are scratching their heads this morning over their selection of tight end Eric Ebron with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
We've seen this time and time again from the Detroit Lions. Instead of filling the need or taking the non-flashy, yet established and 'safe' pick, a team with clear holes throws caution to the wind and reaches. Boy do they ever reach.
Last year, the Lions selected defensive end Ziggy Ansah, a pick full of risk because the young lineman has very little experience playing football. He was raw. Ansah had an alright rookie year, but clearly not befitting of the spot he was selected in.
Ebron, no matter his tremendous athleticism and field stretching ability, is poor value for the No. 10 overall pick in the draft for the following reason(s). He's not going to play every down in the Lions offense. Detroit has three tight ends on its roster now that they are all seriously invested in. Brandon Pettigrew is a former first-round pick himself and was recently re-signed to a multi-year deal. Joseph Fauria is an undrafted gem who has proven to be a touchdown machine. Add Ebron to the mix and there's a logjam.
Will we see 3TE sets from the Lions this year? How can a team that has invested so much in each of these players possibly maximize the value of all three?
There's a reason why no other team in NFL history has spent two first round picks on tight ends in a five year span.
Look, I don't mean to dump all over Ebron. His ability does excite me and I admit, I do drool (as do the Lions I'm sure) at the thought of having a weapon like that on the field with Calvin Johnson, Fauria and Golden Tate. That gives the Lions four massive targets, making it likely impossible to cover them all.
But then again, that's all useless if opposing teams get to Matthew Stafford. The Lions quarterback was maligned last season for his decisions under pressure, and yes, Detroit had a golden opportunity to help him that didn't involve taking a pass-catching player for the fifth time in 10 years.
Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan was there for the taking, unexpectedly falling further than many thought he would. Instead, he went one pick later to Tennessee.
Also on the board, despite the feeding frenzy on defensive backs, were at least a few players, including Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard that could have helped the depleted Lions secondary, where a need has existed since the beginning of time.
Dennard inexplicably fell quite a ways to near the end of the first round, where it would have made sense for the Lions to trade up and still get that physical cornerback fans have been craving for, but alas, the void remains unfilled and only confusion remains this day.
The teams that consistently win, are the teams that get it. The Green Bay Packers may be the least flashiest team in the NFL. They rarely make big free agent signings. They consistently pick near the end of the first round, often going with substance over style, as they did when they selected Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Thursday night. Yet, it seems, all they do is win.
Ha Ha gets the last laugh. The joke is that he should have been the Lions pick.