Detroit Lions rookie tight end, Eric Ebron’s name is already buzzing after day two of training camp in Allen Park, Mi. The buzz however, isn’t necessarily a good thing. Similar to Ebron’s collegiate days at the University of North Carolina, the young pass catcher is struggling with dropped passes.
Rotoworld indicates that 11.4% of the passes thrown Ebron’s was as a junior in college resulted in drops. Furthermore, Dave Birkett of The Detroit Free Press reports Ebron has committed an “inordinate” number of drops so far in training camp, and these drops have “negated” his play-making ability.
Head coach Jim Caldwell commented on Ebron’s pass catching ability this afternoon.
“It’s tough for any young guy that’s coming in to a system, particularly at the position he plays,” Caldwell said. “One thing I think people don’t quite understand about playing a tight end position, you can probably notice that he lines up in a number of different places. He lines up at a true tight end position, so he’s got to know all the blocking schemes, routes from there. He lines up at an auxiliary (position), what we can an F, so he’s got to know all the protections at that particular location as well as the routes. And then we also put him in the backfield.
“This guy literally has to know the slot receiver, the regular tight end and also a position out of the backfield as if he’s a fullback. So it’s not easy for him.”
With the Lions giving Ebron an exorbitant amount of responsibilities early, it’s understandable that there will be an obvious adjustment period. Given the fact that he is going to see such a large role in the offense, Ebron has also been given a significant amount of playing time with Stafford and the rest of the first-team offense in camp.
“He’s got to learn and adjust and there’s a lot of things going through his mind right now,” Caldwell said. “But I think you’re going to see that he’ll just continue to improve, get a little bit better because he does have an unusual skill set.”
The Lions are hoping that once he has a better understanding of the playbook and his role in the offense, the drops will clear up too. When it does, watch out for that dynamic play-making ability that made him such a hot commodity at the NFL Draft to show itself once again.