Lions' Eric Ebron knows he 'overhyped' rookie season

Soon after Eric Ebron was picked 10th overall by the Detroit Lions last May, the newbie tight end turned heads by comparing himself to Jimmy Graham.

By November, though, Ebron was a shoe-in on our list of the biggest rookie disappointments.

"It is what it is," Ebron said Wednesday, per the team's official website. "I kind of overhyped that situation myself not exactly knowing what kind of situation I was going into or which team I was going to get drafted to. It is what it is. It happened. (My) rookie year is over and the only thing you can do is progress. It's just all about progressing now."

Ebron improved down the stretch, catching 15 of his 25 total receptions starting in Week 11. Instead of looking like Graham, though, the rookie admitted by midseason that he felt "zombified" with the neck-up process of learning an NFL offense. The playbook was an issue from the start, something Ebron plans to attack this offseason.

"There's a lot of things to get batter at. Now that you understand the game plan in the NFL, it's all about improving on that," Ebron said, adding: "I'm dying for OTAs this offseason."

The good news for Ebron is that plenty of young tight ends need a season or two to mesh into NFL schemes. Graham's yardage output went from 356 yards as a rookie to 1,310 in Year 2. Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas both saw similar breakouts in their third seasons.

Based on his physical tools alone, it's far too early to write off Ebron as a difference-maker in Detroit. 

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