In this week’s Detroit Free Press column, I take a look at how the Detroit Lions’ decision to pass up on Michigan State defensive back Darqueze Dennard adds another head-scratching moment to their history.
For Detroit Lions fans across the nation – yes, there are a few outside of Michigan – the highlight of the entire season took place this weekend: the NFL draft.
The NFL draft is the only time of the year where things seem to look promising for a franchise that has been everything but that for several decades. However, with the lackadaisical and misguided performances that the Lions have possessed over the years, comes hope. Hope in the form of the draft. It’s a chance for the Lions to utilize their abysmal season from the previous year, and hopefully but not usually turn it into a positive.
While improving three games from a depressing 2012 campaign, the Lions disappointing 7-9 season in 2013 found them with yet another top-10 pick in 2014. And in similar fashion, Lions fans found themselves disgruntled with what the Lions decided to do.
With the 10th overall selection in the 2014 NFL draft, the Lions selected tight end Eric Ebron from North Carolina. Now, if you’re basing this selection strictly off of talent and potential, it’s a great selection. In a league where tight ends are being used more and more as receivers, the Lions got a guy that has been compared to the Saints’ Jimmy Graham and more than likely will be used as such — and has been classified as a glorified wide receiver by ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
However, do the Lions absolutely need a tight end with a first-round selection? No. Are there much bigger needs? Yes. Six-year veteran Brandon Pettigrew has had trouble hauling in passes but has been solid in protection and second-year player Joseph Fauria was used primarily in the red zone in his first year and had success as he grabbed seven touchdown on 18 receptions. The Lions selected Ebron with more of a ‘want’ mentality than a ‘need’ mentality, and that is one of several things that frustrate the Lions frail fanbase.
To continue reading, click here.