LIONS INSIDER

Eric Ebron feels no pressure to validate draft status

Posted Sep 4, 2014

Eric Ebron doesn’t feel any pressure to validate his No. 10 overall selection in May’s NFL Draft on the grand stage of Monday Night Football.

Eric Ebron doesn’t feel any pressure to validate his No. 10 overall selection in May’s NFL Draft on the grand stage of Monday Night Football.

The rookie tight end says his plan Monday night is to simply showcase the skill set that landed him in Detroit in the first place, and there’s no pressure in doing that.

“I’m just going to do what exactly got me here,” he said. “There’s no pressure to it. You’re drafted No. 1 for a reason, go do what you do.”

Eric EbronTE Eric Ebron (Photo: Gavin Smith)

The Lions fully expect Ebron to “do what he does” vs. the New York Giants. What they expect is for him to provide a big-play threat from the tight end position and be a player who can create his own plays after the catch.

“I think he has grown within the system,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Ebron’s development. “He is really diligent. He’s one of those guys who has a lot of pride and really works at it.

“He does not like to make mistakes, does not take it lightly. He studies and he’s gotten a real good grasp of the system at this point. Is he where he’s going to be five games from now? No, but I think you’ll continue to see him improve and I think he’s ready for it as well.”

Ebron’s knowledge of Joe Lombardi’s scheme has grown leaps and bounds from when he first got to Detroit. He says that’s allowed him to just go out and play football.

It's something teammates have taken notice of.

“He’s improved quickly,” receiver Golden Tate said. “I’ve been very impressed with his work ethic. He’s put more time into it. The things he knows he can do – catch and run – is coming more natural to him. Now he knows his job.”

Tate says Ebron is actually becoming a leader on this offense, despite his rookie status.

“He’s very vocal,” Tate said. “Now, along with that, he’s very talented and now he knows what to do. I’m excited to be out there with him on Monday.”

Ebron has the speed and catch radius to make plays in the middle of the field and he can run unlike most players his size.

"One of my great coaches since high school football has been feeding in my head, 'If you let one guy tackle you, you're just not a great player,'" Ebron told Mlive.com. "That's one of the mentalities I've had since picking up football. Never let one man tackle you. And if you do, you got to make up for it.

"If you can make a guy miss, you're destined for good things."

Can Ebron make the Giants defense miss on Monday?