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Ebron on bust label: Opinions don't mean anything

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By every metric, Eric Ebron didn't have a spectacular rookie season.

The 2014 first-round pick admitted as much this offseason and Detroit Lions coaches have discussed it at length.

Still, some fans and media members have already labeled the tight end a bust.

Ebron has heard the declaration and he could've cared less.

"It is what it is," he said, via MLive.com. "It's one year. You can claim what you want to claim. Your opinions and your statements don't mean anything to me. It is what it is."

It is the exact stance Ebron should take, despite his 25 catches for 248 receiving yards stat line.

The storyline has mainly been a Detroit narrative Pied Pipered by a few bombastic local media members that disliked the selection from Day 1. (While the choice of a tight end might not have filled a huge need, those that point to Odell Beckham being on the board when the Lions picked are kidding themselves. The same Ebron haters would have had a similar reaction if the Lions chose a receiver last year -- and undergone conniptions as he dealt with a hamstring injury early in the season.)

Tight end has proven to be one of the most difficult positions to perform well as a rookie. Neither Jimmy Graham nor Rob Gronkowski put off massive yardage numbers in their first year. The stats get even worse if you go back in history for Hall of Fame types like Tony Gonzalez or Shannon Sharpe.

Vernon Davis, the last tight end picked in the top 10 before Ebron, managed just 265 yards as a rookie.

The point is: Calling Ebron a bust after one year is the height of asinine buffoonery. Too quickly we cast aside players without allowing them to develop, then complain because bad teams can't develop players. Just because we have short attention spans coupled with an unhealthy need for instant gratification in all aspects of life doesn't mean NFL teams or players should operate under those same conditions.

Does Ebron need to improve in Year 2 to avoid being stuck with the bust label? Absolutely. Not dropping wide open passes would help the cause.

The second-year player already gave us the month when we can start an actual evaluation of his improvement:

"We'll find out in August," Ebron said. "The whole world will, too."

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