Jump to content

LooseGoose

2014 Draft

Recommended Posts

The 2014 draft hasn't turned out well, even including the non-drafted free agents angle. But that doesn't mean it won't. This was a draft that was pretty heavy on 'projects'.

Reid and Webster were obviously not ready to contribute and were drafted for their potential. I don't know the particulars with Jones, but was he drafted knowing that he might have an injury that would keep him off the field? Swanson ended up playing, and doing okay. But he is a case of using a third round pick for a player that you hope will contribute in year two.

The first and second rounders were not projects. They were expected to contribute in year one. But the injury to Van Noy essentially turned him into a 'wait until year 2' player. And Ebron was somewhat of a project just because he plays TE, which is a hard position to pick up in year one.

So to a significant extent, I think Mayhew knowingly drafted a project-heavy group of rookies. Then it got worse, as above. They didn't get much from this group in 2014. But it appears to me that it's still a promising class. The only real wash-out appears to be the kicker. And they got a good prospect, albeit a project, in the tackle Lucas as a non-drafted player. Ebron showed enough, at a tough position, that I think he's got a good chance to work out fine. Van Noy didn't get a chance to show much, but there's no reason to think he's not loaded with talent. Swanson looked good at center in limited play. The projects Reid and Webster have a year as pros under their belt. All accounts suggest that they have the raw talent to be players with more experience in the NFL, which they are beginning to pick up.

This is good news for 2015. The Lions got little from their draft class last year. But they have a pretty good chance to get a lot more from them this season. As a class, they stand to have a greater-than-average second year improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2014 draft hasn't turned out well, even including the non-drafted free agents angle. But that doesn't mean it won't. This was a draft that was pretty heavy on 'projects'.

Reid and Webster were obviously not ready to contribute and were drafted for their potential. I don't know the particulars with Jones, but was he drafted knowing that he might have an injury that would keep him off the field? Swanson ended up playing, and doing okay. But he is a case of using a third round pick for a player that you hope will contribute in year two.

The first and second rounders were not projects. They were expected to contribute in year one. But the injury to Van Noy essentially turned him into a 'wait until year 2' player. And Ebron was somewhat of a project just because he plays TE, which is a hard position to pick up in year one.

So to a significant extent, I think Mayhew knowingly drafted a project-heavy group of rookies. Then it got worse, as above. They didn't get much from this group in 2014. But it appears to me that it's still a promising class. The only real wash-out appears to be the kicker. And they got a good prospect, albeit a project, in the tackle Lucas as a non-drafted player. Ebron showed enough, at a tough position, that I think he's got a good chance to work out fine. Van Noy didn't get a chance to show much, but there's no reason to think he's not loaded with talent. Swanson looked good at center in limited play. The projects Reid and Webster have a year as pros under their belt. All accounts suggest that they have the raw talent to be players with more experience in the NFL, which they are beginning to pick up.

This is good news for 2015. The Lions got little from their draft class last year. But they have a pretty good chance to get a lot more from them this season. As a class, they stand to have a greater-than-average second year improvement.

Certainly couldn't get any worse. They got next to zero positive production out of the group so even if they get marginal production it will most likely be seen as greater than average second year improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gronk with his 10 TDs and 42 catches is a pretty awful example, but the point does hold true overall. Now, other TEs being a bust early on doesn't guarantee anything for Ebron, but it does provide hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gronk with his 10 TDs and 42 catches is a pretty awful example, but the point does hold true overall. Now, other TEs being a bust early on doesn't guarantee anything for Ebron, but it does provide hope.

We do know that if Ebron does worse next season, he is clearly on his way to bust status. He set the bar pretty low based on his performance this season so I am pretty confident he will do much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vernon Davis was a bust after his rookie year.

Vernon Davis NFL Football Statistics | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Rob Gronkowski was a bust after his rookie year.

Rob Gronkowski NFL Football Statistics | Pro-Football-Reference.com

Ebron will be fine.

I agree that Ebron could very well end up being a productive player, but just because Vernon Davis struggled his first three seasons and then found varied success over the last six doesn't mean Ebron will.

And as mentioned, Gronk was far from a bust his rookie year, his PFF grade was +24.4 (compared to Ebron's -7.6) and his run blocking was fantastic (+20.4) compared to Ebron who struggled blocking (-0.6)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't see every snap last season, and I certainly don't remember every play that I did see, but I don't remember Ebron ever making a play that wowed me or showed me his potential. From what I remember all I remember seeing him doing was catching easy passes out of the backfield and getting tackled by the first person that touched him. Again I could very well be wrong and missed something, and I'm not saying he is going to be a bust but that is one thing that really discouraged me about him. If he would make the sporadic spectacular play but was just inconsistent I would be more optimistic about him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's way too early to say anything about Ebron other than he wasn't very good last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I expected something like 30 catches and 400 yards, with weak blocking, from Ebron in a full season. Adjusting for the games he missed, that's about what he delivered. Ebron is frustrating, but I try to remember that TE is a hard position to play as a rookie.

Next year? Significantly improved blocking, and something like 45-50 catches and 600-700 yards. More if he plays most downs. That's not earth shattering, but it represents significant improvement. And it would be a big help to this offense.

I'd expect more for several years after that, as long as the Lions' offense isn't too bad. Along the lines of roughly 50-70 catches and 700-1000 yards. If he can do this, he will have done well enough for a #10 first round pick in an offense -- at least for the next few years -- with two star receivers who get a lot of targets. Judging Ebron, and thus the 2014 draft, at this point is like predicting how a relationship will turn out after three or four dates. In most cases, lots of water has to go under that bridge before you know much of anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be hard to judge Ebron on just his volume numbers. He definitely needs to produce more than this year, but as the third target its more about making an impact on a per target basis. He needs to show better hands, better blocking, up his ypa and become a strong redzone threat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm hoping that Lions will be proficient enough in all his responsibilities that we will utilize more no huddle offense. He has to be the mismatch on the field and that requires him being able to block like a tackle and catch like receiver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It will be hard to judge Ebron on just his volume numbers. He definitely needs to produce more than this year, but as the third target its more about making an impact on a per target basis. He needs to show better hands, better blocking, up his ypa and become a strong redzone threat.

The last 6 or 7 games of the season Ebron was a great blocker. He figured that part out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The last 6 or 7 games of the season Ebron was a great blocker. He figured that part out.

Great is a stretch. He showed the ability to make great blocks, but now consistency is key. He missed some huge blocks down the stretch too. Really it was just a comment on what he needs to improve on from one season to the next though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great is a stretch. He showed the ability to make great blocks, but now consistency is key. He missed some huge blocks down the stretch too. Really it was just a comment on what he needs to improve on from one season to the next though.

Just out of curiosity, and this goes for anyone, what are the expectations for Ebron next year? I know many are ready to send him out on the first bus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The last 6 or 7 games of the season Ebron was a great blocker. He figured that part out.

Three of his last six games he had his worst blocking games of the season. He had the one fantastic block against Chicago on the screen pass but outside of that he was a major liability and will have to continue to work on that aspect of his game.

Here is a game recap from ProFootballFocus on week 17:

Eric Ebron, TE: -3.2

Breakdown: A very quiet rookie season for the 10th overall pick finishes on a particularly sour note. Ebron got beat up as a run blocker and was little factor in the passing game despite tying his career high with 38 receiving yards. The Lions ran a few counters and designed bounce outs that went nowhere because of his poor blocking on the edge. He also dropped a ball and was only able to haul in two of his six targets.

Signature Stat: On the very first play from scrimmage, Ebron pulled to the back side on a split zone run. The rookie was supposed to kick out right to block outside linebacker Nick Perry and open up a cutback lane, but instead he whiffed and allowed tackle for short gain.

His last eight games blocking "grade": (pass/run)

-.9/-.8

0.1/0.2

0.0/0.3

0.1/0.5

0.0/-.3

0.0/1.3 (against chicago, his best blocking game of the season)

0.1/-2.3 (against GB, his worst blocking game of the season)

-.4/-.4

He had a net negative rating on both aspects of blocking. He was not a good blocker and he certainly hasn't figured anything out, yet.

Edited by EchO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...