Would Detroit Consider Bringing Tight End Darren Fells Back In 2018?
Coming into 2017, one of the most questionable positions was the tight end position. Eric Ebron had his fifth-year option picked up and behind him was Darren Fells and rookie Michael Roberts. The majority of the Lions fanbase would have their eyes focused on Ebron, and with some thinking that Roberts was his possible replacement in 2019.
What many didn’t expect is to see how impactful Fells would be for the team in 2017. He was coming in as a blocking tight end, but he did technically start 13 games this season, even though Ebron would come in after the first play or two and have a better season than Fells.
Darren Fells’ Under-The-Radar Performance Impressed Many
Coming into the NFL in 2014 as a 28-year-old, Fells had a three-year career in Arizona, where his best season was in 2015, finishing with 21 catches for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Fells is more of a blocking tight end, so his contributions to the passing game aren’t as important as his blocking.
While Fells didn’t have a career high in yards in 2017, finishing with 177 on 17 catches, he did get three touchdowns. Fells was used more than Ebron at times, and that even led some fans to believe that he could start over Ebron.
This speculation would die down as Ebron would have a fantastic second half of 2017, finishing the season with 574 yards on 53 catches, and four touchdowns. Roberts would only get four catches for 46 yards, and with him missing a meeting for week 17, he would be benched.
Re-Sign Or Rebuild Darren Fells?
With Ebron improving and doing better, and with Roberts still learning the ropes, Fells coming back is a must for this team in 2018. The good thing too is that Fells wants to come back as well.
Darren Fells has not had talks about coming back, but wants to return to Lions. Said Detroit immediately felt like home.
— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) January 1, 2018
Fells isn’t projected to be asking for too much money either, as he signed to come to Detroit for $1 million. Odds are, GM Bob Quinn will bring him back on a similar deal. If for some reason Quinn doesn’t bring back Fells, some replacements for him in the free agent market could be Richard Rodgers out of Green Bay, Luke Wilson out of Seattle, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins out of New York.
Quinn could look for a blocking in the draft if he wants a younger player to fill the role. Three names to watch out for if Fells isn’t re-signed are Ethan Wolf from Tennessee, Durham Smythe from Notre Dame, and Mike Gesicki from Penn State.