NFL Draft 2014: Eric Ebron pick proves Lions still like passing the football

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Lions double down on their pass offense.

By picking North Carolina TE Eric Ebron, the Lions continue to stack their chips in the passing game. Detroit won't suddenly become a running team as Ebron joins an absurd set of offensive weapons in Detroit, falling in line with Calvin Johnson, free-agent acquisition Golden Tate, 2009 first-round pick Brandon Pettigrew, rising 2nd year TE Joseph Fauria, Kris Durham, and Ryan Broyles.

The biggest thing that Ebron gives the Lions on offense is versatility. He's a receiver in a tight end's body who is able to line up in line or outside, which gives Detroit some very interesting schematic options. Ebron's ability to run routes cleanly and fluidly to beat defensive backs, linebackers, or safeties alike just gives Detroit another dangerous threat downfield and in the redzone. As a defense, opposing coordinators will now have to make an impossible decision; do they focus on Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, or Eric Ebron?

Furthermore, with a gunslinger like Stafford throwing passes into tight windows and showing the willingness to throw it up for his receivers, the Lions offense becomes that much harder to defend and their size on offense becomes a real issue for opposing teams. Ebron checks in at 6'5, as are Johnson and Pettigrew. Durham measures in at 6'6, and Fauria is 6'7. Put any combination of those players on the field at the same time and as a defense you have a real dilemma.

Bottom line, the Lions load up by doubling down on their strength. With spread offense principles and some of the craziest weapons in the NFL at their disposal, the Lions just shot toward the top of my list of must-watch teams in 2014.

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