Former Detroit Lions tight end Eric Ebron admits he was too immature to handle being a top 10 pick for the Lions.
All you had to do was follow him on social media when the Lions selected the butter fingered Ebron from the University of North Carolina. The fans attacked him. He attacked back and it often led to comical exchanges on Twitter where you often wondered what is this man doing.
It is almost as if he had a honing device set on every Lions fans movement.
“You get drafted by Detroit and it’s tough,” Ebron said on “The Man to Man” podcast hosted by former NFL players Darius Butler and Antoine Bethea. “It’s tough, especially when you’re young and a little immature like I was. I only played two years of high school football, three years of college football. Here I am as a professional athlete. I’m still kinda young in the game and I wasn’t ready for Detroit. Detroit wasn’t ready for me.”
Detroit did not want Ebron. They did not want a tight end drafted that high. Fans around here clamored for defense because the Lions could not stop a nose bleed. The last thing Lions fans wanted was a tight end drafted that high, especially one that dropped so many passes.
This was unfair to Ebron because he was attacked before taking the field. He felt the weight of Lions expectations immediately. He needed a change of scenery before he even got here.
“You don’t know that. You don’t understand that as a 20-year old getting drafted,” Eric Ebron said.
Ebron lasted three seasons here before signing on with the Indianapolis Colts where he enjoyed a Pro Bowl season in 2018, the year he left the Lions. Ebron led all tight ends with 13 touchdowns. He also caught a career high 66 balls for a career high 750 yards.
Ebron felt like a misfit in Detroit. The Lions signed him to four-year, $12.49 million deal his rookie season and made him the Number three tight end behind Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. He only played 40 percent of the offensive snaps that season. And when he was on the field he competed for balls with Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate and running back Reggie Bush.
Ebron admitted he checked out at times during his rookie season.
“You mentally already messed with me,” Ebron said. “I’m already young, so the fact I’m not playing I’m not thinking about football. You gave this 20-year-old all this money and told him, ‘here, just sit down and not play. Learn.’ And I’m like ‘Learn how? I feel like I’m red-shirted.”
Ebron said he is more mature now and would love a do over with the Lions.
“For the shit that I know now, if I could do Detroit all over again, I would,” he said. I was not mentally ready for (being) the 10th overall (pick).”
For more from the author Terry Foster, check him out on Twitter here: @terryfosterdet
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