The Lions are entering this season without Calvin Johnson, so who will be catching the passes? The players that will be catching passes from Matthew Stafford are Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Eric Ebron. Other players will contribute, but those will be the big three in Detroit’s passing game for years to come. Interestingly, this could be a benefit to Detroit, as others will get a chance to produce, and I think Eric Ebron will be that X-factor in Detroit with Megatron gone.
The Lions had an up and down 2015 campaign with their offense, which they struggled half the season, but then caught fire as they finished the season 7-9. After their bye week (week 9), they finished the last 8 games with a 6-2 record, which they were one of the hottest team’s at the halfway mark of the season.
So with the offense playing well at the end of last season, expect the Lions to continue that recent success and the same with their players, especially Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Marvin Jones, which I think they can be one of the best wide receivers and tight end combinations in football.
Furthermore, Eric Ebron was not drafted in the first round (10th overall) for no reason back in the 2014 NFL Draft. He was brought in to become a vital piece in their offense and this will be the year that he breaks out and shows people why he is that missing piece. He has been shadowed by others like I mentioned, but he will be the starting tight end, despite Pettigrew being a better run blocker, but Detroit was ranked fifth in passing the ball around last year per game with 39.5 attempts and that is a reason why Ebron will be used more. Also, with Megatron leaving, Ebron has the ability to line up as a wide receiver in the slot to create mismatches against the defense to give the Lions an advantage.
In addition, Ebron finished the 2015 season by starting eight games and participating in 14 games in total. In those 14 games, he set career highs in everything. He caught 47 passes for 537 yards, which he averaged 11.4 yards per catch and his longest was 55 yards. He found the end zone five times.
Finally, with this year being the 23-year-olds breakout campaign, others and I expect him to at least reel in 60 catches for 800 yards and scoring around five to seven times. He could achieve those projections, as he will be the tallest main target out of Tate and Jones, plus he is their best red zone threat. Lastly, fantasy football users should look to draft him as their tight end.