LIONS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF FOOTBALL OPERATIONS AND GENERAL MANAGER MARTIN MAYHEW
Opening statement: "Welcome everybody, good to see you all again. As we talked last night we are very excited to have Eric Ebron join our football team and organization. He is a very talented young man and an outstanding young man, and is going to be a great fit for our offense. As you know from watching us the last few years, a lot of the time we are one play away or one player away. I think the additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron are really going to get that one play for us. We are very excited to have him join us. He is going to be a natural fit offensively based on what our new offensive coordinator is going to put in place using some of the New Orleans Saints offensive system and some of those plays. He is a great fit for us and we are excited to have him."
LIONS HEAD COACH JIM CALDWELL
Opening statement: "Good afternoon, and it is certainly good to see you again, particularly on this occasion. We have an opportunity to present to you someone who we feel is going to make a tremendous difference in the things that we do. He gives us a little bit more of an attack in terms of the weapons that we have, a diverse attack that should be very, very difficult to handle. I think you are going to enjoy him in terms of his personality. He loves the game and has great passion for it and he is an outstanding person as well. I introduce to you, Eric Ebron."
LIONS FIRST-ROUND DRAFT PICK TE ERIC EBRON
Opening statement: "I thank you and I am very, very, very happy to be a Detroit Lion. This is all amazing. I want to say thank you to my family, my beautiful fiancé, my mom, my dad and definitely the GM (Martin Mayhew) and the head coach (Jim Caldwell) for allowing me to be part of the organization. I couldn't imagine being anywhere else. It all seems fake right now, like I am not even here, ever since I woke up. I can't wait to get started. Monday is going to be the beginning of an exciting year. I've tended to do things like that in my life, making things exciting, so I hope I wow you guys. Thank you for having me."
On what he brings that can "wow" people: "Me, everything that I bring. If we are talking off the field, it is just my personality. There is never a bad day. I tend not to have any bad days. If we are talking about on the field, then it's the things I that I do any which way possible to help my team. If it is making that amazing catch or blocking for Reggie Bush, it is anything that I can possibly do for us to win."
On if he considers himself an elite route-runner: "Yes. That's how I get open most of the time, that's why I am usually open."
On how much the Lions talked with him about route-running: "That's football. You have to run the right route in the formation in order to be open for the scheme to work or the concept to work. It is important in football just in general. They didn't have to tell me that for me to know, it just comes with the territory."
On why he left football at a young age and what brought him back to play: "I played Pop Warner football and I kind of lost touch when my grandfather passed away. Pretty much lost touch on life. Then my mom told me that I wasn't going to sit on the couch my whole life, so I had to do something. Now I am here doing something. That is pretty much what sparked it back up. Condolences to my high school head coach for pushing me for doing that. He was in the green room and this is a gift for him for pushing me to get this far."
On his relationship with his grandfather: "It was incredible. It was every day talking non-stop. He was the only guy to never miss anyone's birthday, the only guy to wake you up and put a smile on your face. My grandfather was everything."
On how old he was when he passed away: "Maybe 10. Nine or 10."
On the reason his high school coach pushed him: "When I got into high school I didn't play my freshman or sophomore year and he came in and said that I just look like a football player, and I said, ‘Man, I used to play football.' ‘He was like, well you need to play football.' He took me to a one-day camp at North Carolina and he was like, ‘You look like you have collegiate talent, so let's see.' I walked out of Carolina in one day with a scholarship to go there and I had never played high school football before. My story just took off from there."
On his basketball background: "My whole family was based on basketball, everyone in my family played basketball. I just had to be the opposite one. I like to do things different and football was a little bit different."
On how eager he is to validate the Lions choice to choose him 10th overall: "I'm not eager. They know they made the right decision and in my mind, they made the right decision. I am here to learn, I'm here to work and I am here to do everything I need to do to help us win and push us over the top so we can be that team to deal with for the next few years."
On how much sleep he got after being picked: "I didn't even want to go to sleep last night, but I had to come here and talk to you all, so I couldn't be looking like a mess. I had to do something, so I went to bed for about an hour and a half, woke up, took a little plane ride and got another little 30 minutes in and now I am here. It still seems fake. I didn't even believe the plane ride."
On how he celebrated after being picked: "Went out with my family. We just went out to eat. I am not a party person, so I don't celebrate those type of ways. I spent the time with my family. It was the best way I could think of to end the night."
On being part of the first round of the draft with so many talented players: "I mean, it's incredible. Any one of those guys could have been picked in front of me. There were like 30 guys there and we're all valuable enough to get picked one through 32. It's just insane to be the 10th overall pick in the draft. That's forever written in stone that you have that label. I'm just all about what I can do and how much farther I can push that title."
On how he will handle the pressure of being a first-round pick: "The same way I handle everybody else talking about, ‘Oh, man he's not that good. He can't block.' Just ignore it, man. These guys never grew up with me. They don't know my life story. They don't know the things I'm capable of, so I just ignore it and I just go about doing what got me here. Obviously, I'm the first-round, 10th pick, so I'm doing something right."
On if criticism motivates him: "Does it motivate me? I've got other motivations in life. My mom motivates me. She struggled when we were younger. My dad motivates me. He struggled when we were younger. I have other motivations than to listen to somebody else talk about what they think they know."
On why he watches film of other tight ends: "You watch a lot film of other tight ends to know what to do and what not to do. It plays a role in a game. It's like watching film. You want to study an opponent. If you want to be great, you study great players. If you want to win, you study how to win. It's just simple. I mean, if you want to do something great, if you want to be great, you've got to take the steps toward doing that. So, I study a lot of great tight ends."
On the day he received his scholarship at North Carolina: "I didn't know what a scholarship was coming out of high school. I had no idea. He (Butch Davis) said I had received a scholarship, and I said, ‘Thank you.' I didn't know what that was. My head coach came flying out of nowhere, ‘Boy, you got a scholarship? Do you know what that means? You get to go to school for free.' Cool, I get to go back to school for free, that means a lot. We just figured it out from there and now I'm here, man. My journey, it was fun."
On when he committed to North Carolina: "I committed the next year to the Tar Heels. I just felt the love and respect from that moment, you know? What better place to play football than in Chapel Hill. It's a good place to play basketball too, but we aren't talking about that. I just really felt like that was a home away from home. Obviously, it was because I had a pretty good three years. It was the summer going into my junior year. I hadn't played a lick."
On when he had last played football before the North Carolina camp: "I played Pop Warner football. I skipped flag football. I went straight into equipment and played with older kids, so that talent has been there since I was a young buck."
On what position he played growing up: "I played defense, defensive tackle. I was a beast. I played defensive end at North Carolina when we played N.C. State in 2012. I have done a couple things."
On what he played at the North Carolina camp: "Well, I actually came in - I was a wide receiver in high school, but I went to the camp as a wide receiver and they saw tight end abilities and how big I could become. That's when, basically, my journey started."
On what the North Carolina camp was like: "It was pouring down rain. I went out there with no gloves, no swag, looking like I never played football before, but I ran nice routes and caught everything in the rain. They were just like, ‘Man, that dude there? We want him?' I was just like, ‘Thanks.' That was Butch (Davis)."
On having the opportunity to play in the Lions offense: "With those names you just mentioned, I think you could picture it yourself with how elite that offense might be. With Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford throwing to all of us, even with Reggie Bush leaking out of the backfield, that's crazy. I mean, it's only something that you can dream of. For them to actually put something together like this, it's mind-blowing. It's really going to help me help this organization and this team by opening up Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush and Golden Tate, Brandon Pettigrew. It will be incredible, the things that we can do here in these next few months to couple years."
On being introduced by Hall of Fame RB Barry Sanders: "When he walked out there, I was like, ‘Whoever gets this pick'- Look, I didn't want to stop hugging the man, but I had to let him go. We were on television, you know? I didn't want anybody else to miss their pick, so I had to let him go."