There are quite a few fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers hoping that North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron is the player chosen with the 15th overall selection next month in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, but there’s no guarantee that he will last that long. In fact, Ebron thinks there’s a team that picks before the Steelers do in round one that won’t let him get past them.
In his latest Monday Morning Quarterback segment, Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that Ebron told a team he recently visited with that he thought the Detroit Lions would pick him if still on the board come time for them to make their selection.
This is a very bold statement by Ebron when you consider that the Lions just re-signed tight end tight end Brandon Pettigrew to a four-year, $16 million contract last month. Detroit has other needs that one would think they would want to address in round one, so selecting Ebron would seem to be a luxury at this point.
Ebron never seems to be at a loss for words when he talks to the media as he is one confident individual. While many consider him to be the top tight end in this year’s draft class, he failed to impress at his Pro Day last month, according to several reports.
When you look at the current first-round draft order, the Buffalo Bills stick out most as a team that could consider selecting Ebron with the ninth overall selection. Should they bypass him, however, there’s a good chance he’ll still be on the board by the time the Steelers are on the clock with the 15th overall selection.
Recent drafts have not been kind to the tight end position, however, as Vernon Davis was the last one to be drafted inside the first 19 picks when the San Francisco 49ers made him the sixth overall selection way back in 2006.
While several draftniks compare Ebron to Davis, it would be surprising if he’s drafted as high as the Maryland product was. We still have more than two weeks to go until we find out where Ebron will play in 2014, but like King, I’m willing to bet it won’t be in Detroit.