The time of camp hype and coach speak is once again here. Luckily for us, this time of the year is now backed up with not only official highlights from the team, but live updates from fans and media throughout each day of camp.
One thing that has really caught my eye over the past couple of days is the coverage on our favorite first round draft pick, Eric Ebron. Not only has he been putting up highlight reel quality, one-handed grabs but he’s reportedly been running drills with the wide receiver Corps. Our depth at TE is thin behind Ebron, especially when it comes to guys in blocking roles. So, while Ebron has improved in that area, it’s telling that Jim Bob Cooter wants the athletic beast down field as opposed to in the trenches.
Obviously, this is what the Lions drafted him for in the first place. I’ve mentioned before that his size and speed combination alone should cause nightmares for linebackers and nickel corners but with no reports of dropped balls and mental errors coming from camp, it’s possible that Ebron could finally be a featured piece in the Lions offense.
Reasons to Board the Hype Train
Ebron Isn’t 21 Any More
Ebron really seems to have matured as a player. Even in his second year, you could tell his disappointing rookie campaign had humbled him. He came into camp in his best shape so far and ready to work. From what I’ve seen, his focus is sharp, his hands are no longer made of stone and his ability to make body adjustments in the air has increased tremendously. I only expect him to get better in 11 on 11 drills while the O-Line finds their way and stops getting beat up on a daily basis.
Jim Bob Cooter
We know that after JBC took over the offense that there was a clear philosophy shift. One of Cooter’s best qualities is tailoring a system around the strength of his roster. Whether it’s getting Ebron the ball in space where he can rack up fifteen yards before anyone can stop him or letting him use his large frame to box out DBs in the end zone, JBC will get the best out of this kid. While Ebron’s numbers were one of the few that didn’t see a significant spike after the OC change, I believe that a fully implemented Cooter plan can only benefit his production. Honestly, the fact that he was able to rack up 292 Yards and 5 TDs during the six games he played under that horrendous scheme speaks volumes.
With #85 looking like he’s becoming the guy we all wanted a 10th overall pick to be and JBC’s knack for putting his players in the best situations possible, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doubles his production yet again and ends up close to a thousand yards and ten TDs. I would go as far as to predict more than that – if it weren’t for the rest of the pass catching arsenal that’s been assembled this off-season.