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Eric Ebron on TEs: Respect production over position

The last time Eric Ebron weighed in on "the great tight end debate of 2014," the Detroit Lions rookie suggested a new "hybrid or joker" designation for high-octane pass-catchers such as Jimmy Graham.

In a Tuesday interview with NFL Media's Amber Theoharis and Brian Baldinger at Nike The Opening, Ebron seconded future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez's contention that production should trump position in the NFL's pay scale.

"I'm a pass-catcher, I'm a pass-catching tight end. And that's how it works," Ebron said. "I'm not really in the mix, I'm a rookie, I haven't really established anything yet to be upon this conversation. I do understand both sides of the conversation, but I really respect the production more than the position."

More highlights from Ebron's interview:

» The No. 10 overall draft pick's biggest objective for his rookie season is to exploit the middle of the field to the extent that defenders can no longer cheat toward Calvin Johnson. "You know, get Matthew Stafford another key weapon," Ebron explained, "and open up the seam more for Calvin so he can continue to do what he's been doing and what makes him so great."

» Whereas Sammy Watkins has acknowledged that his rapport with EJ Manuel still needs work, Ebron said his timing with Stafford has been great. "I think Matt has a real good understanding of exactly how I can help the team and that's really all that it's about," Ebron added.

» Ebron promised that Lions fans will see an "awful lot" of two-tight end sets in 2014: "Just going through OTAs and minicamp, it's going to be really fun and with me, Brandon (Pettigrew) and Joe (Fauria), it's going to be a whirlwind of tight ends that can just do everything."

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