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Lions GM: Eric Ebron can be a Jimmy Graham-like fit

The Detroit Lions were already a handful on offense before Thursday's opening round of the 2014 NFL Draft. With Eric Ebron now in the mix, the unit has the potential to be devastating.

That was the logic behind the team's decision to select the North Carolina tight end with the 10th-overall pick.

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"He's a very special offensive weapon," Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said, according to the Detroit News. "He fits us because he can do some of the things coach did with Jimmy Graham in New Orleans."

That "coach" is new Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, who coached Graham during his time with the Saints.

Ebron didn't hesitate to draw the connection when asked how he will be used in Detroit's offense.

"The same way Jimmy Graham was when (Lombardi) was coaching Jimmy Graham," he said.

Lombardi explained the differences between the players on Thursday night.

"(Ebron and Graham) are not exactly the same but they are both athletic guys," he said. "Jimmy's got more length and Eric maybe has more quickness. Some things we did with Jimmy in New Orleans, we will do with Eric and there may be some things we do with Eric that we didn't do with Jimmy."

There's fair criticism to be landed that Detroit should have focused on defense with its first pick on Thursday. But the organization clearly views Ebron as a future elite player at his position. That potential was too tempting to pass up.

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