Detroit Lions: Kyle Pitts might just be too good to pass up

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Lions
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions fans may riot if the organization uses another top-ten draft choice on a tight end, but it’s something that may be justified and actually happen.

It’s Eric Ebron that leaves a bad taste in the mouth of Detroit Lions fans, and to be quite frank; it’s a fan base sick of seeing the organization selecting a tight end in the first round.  This stemmed from 2009 when the Lions selected Brandon Pettigrew with the 20th overall pick in the first round.

Pettigrew had a reliable four-year stretch with the Lions, two of which he recorded over 700 yards receiving and four with a catch rate of 64% or better.  That being said, Pettigrew never lived up to his first-round draft position, not even close.  He totaled 2,965 yards and 17 touchdowns over his seven-year career.

Five years later, the Detroit Lions selected another tight end in the first round of the draft, but this time with the tenth overall pick.  Ebron, similar to draft prospect Kyle Pitts, had been deemed a ‘weapon’ rather than ‘just’ a tight end.

It’s unfair to be so quick to compare Kyle Pitts to Ebron, but Detroit Lions fans have been down this road before.

An elephant never forgets.

Ebron didn’t just underachieve with the Detroit Lions; the athletic tight end didn’t even see his fifth-year team option exercised by the franchise.  That says it all.  If a first-round pick performs up to par, that fifth-year option is picked up quicker than the first sip of your morning coffee.

In four years with the Detroit Lions, the tenth overall pick made 186 receptions totaling 2,070 yards and corralled 11 touchdown catches.  That’s good for 517.5 yards and 2.8 touchdowns per season. Plus the drops, lots of drops, and they always seemed to be at a vital junction of the game.  If you are not a Lions fan, you certainly see why some fans refuse to consider selecting a tight end with the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice…  You get it.  Believe it or not, the Detroit Lions under Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia’s direction did select another first-round tight end and, yes, in the top ten choosing T.J. Hockenson from the Iowa Hawkeyes’ tight end factory.  Detorit took Hockenson with the eighth overall pick just two drafts ago, and he’s quickly blossomed in year two as a professional.

Hockenson made 67 grabs totaling 723 yards and six touchdowns last season for the Detroit Lions.