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2014 NFL Draft: Martin Mayhew discusses Eric Ebron pick

Here's a look at what the Detroit Lions' Martin Mayhew had to say about his pick of Eric Ebron on Thursday night.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Below is a recap of what Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew had to say about his pick of tight end Eric Ebron on Thursday night. (Quotes provided by the Lions.)

On 97.1 FM, the Lions Radio Network

On Ebron being a favorite from the beginning: "Yes, we were very excited about him. He'll give us some matchups offensively that we didn't have otherwise. He's an explosive downfield weapon and pretty good blocker as well. He's going to fit our offense really well."

On Ebron being more than a tight end: "He's that kind of player that we can play a lot more 12-person with two tight end packages. (Brandon) Pettigrew will be on the line wide and this guy will be split out the way (Jimmy) Graham was used. He can really be like a third receiver for us."

On the offense having a much different look: "That was our intent. We want to be an offense that can attack people, we want to set the tone offensively. This guy gives us another weapon to create matchups."

Press Conference

Opening statement: "Eric Ebron, an outstanding tight end prospect. The guy's a very special offensive weapon. I talked earlier at the league meetings about there being a certain number of elite, I thought, athletes and prospects in the top 10. He's one of those guys I was talking about. He fits us because he can do some of the things that coach (Joe Lombardi) did with Jimmy Graham in New Orleans. He fits into our offense. He had a great visit here with us. We feel great about him. He got engaged today, so it's a big day for him. We're looking forward to working with him."

On if he expects Ebron to contribute right away: "Absolutely. He's an impact player. He's a difference-maker. I think you'll see that when he starts playing. I mean, this guy is a play-maker. He's a matchup nightmare as a tight end. He gives us something down the field. He's a route-runner. (Joseph) Fauria is good in the red area right now. We're working on developing the rest of his game and running routes and things. This guy (Ebron) can run routes and get open and get separation. (Brandon) Pettigrew can be a blocker and a receiver in the short, intermediate area. This guy (Ebron) can get downfield and make big plays for us, so we're expecting a big impact from him."

On if Ebron trumped any defensive picks that were still available: "Defense is a need, offense is a need, play-makers are a need. Good players are a big need, and we talked about that the other day. I felt it was really a ‘go-anywhere' draft for us. I talked about the need for another player at tight end, and he's that guy for us. But I would say this - Our defense, you know, we were right in the middle of the pack last year in points allowed. We were 15th. Offense was 13th in points scored. I think there's a perception that there's this huge gap between our offense and our defense. It's not that big of a gap. We've got some good players on defense that can make some plays for us. We felt like this guy was going to help us win football games, so we drafted him."

On if he tried to move up in the draft: "When you say that, we certainly talked about moving up with other teams. We talked about moving back with other teams. We didn't find a deal that made sense for us going either direction, so we stayed there at 10. We did have conversations about moving up, and we didn't."

On if Ebron reminds him of a current NFL player: "I don't want to put those high expectations on him. I think he's going to be an outstanding player in his own right, and that would be a good question for Coach (Jim) Caldwell, who is coming up right now."

On Lions Offensive Coordinator Joe Lombardi's influence with the selection of Ebron: "Joe was really excited about this player. This was, probably after Sammy Watkins, this was the player that Joe liked the best in this draft. That's an offensive player, and he's an offensive coordinator. He was probably his No. 2 guy in the entire draft."

On his interactions with Ebron prior to the draft: "I think his pro day was the same day as a different pro day. I was going to go down there, but I went somewhere else. But I did visit with him here and spent a lot of time with him here in the office. Actually, Ron Prince went and spent time with him back on campus and spent a day or two down there with him. So, we got to know him very well."

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