To get ready for the 2014 season, Pride Of Detroit's writers weighed in with predictions on a variety of topics. You can make your own predictions by voting in the poll at the end of this post, and you can see what our writers had to say below.
Last up: Who will be the Detroit Lions' rookie of the year?
Justin Simon: Eric Ebron
Prior to his injury I would have said Kyle Van Noy, but that all but takes him out of the running, so I guess I’ll go with Ebron. I loved the tight end coming out of UNC, and I think he has a shot to be really good in this offense. I don’t expect him to put up gaudy numbers in 2014, but he could easily be in the top three or four in terms of receptions for this team. If you throw in a few big plays and touchdowns, I think Lions fans will be more than pleased with Ebron’s rookie performance.
Brian Packey: Eric Ebron
Ebron will be implemented with the offense right from the start. He has the best opportunity to succeed, and nobody gives love to the kickers.
Sean Yuille: Eric Ebron
With Kyle Van Noy out for the first half of the season, the only worthwhile choices here are Ebron and Nate Freese. Although Freese could certainly make a big impact at kicker as a rookie, I would hope that Ebron's impact on the offense is larger by comparison. I'm not necessarily expecting monster numbers from Ebron this year, but he should be heavily involved in the offense.
Christopher Tomke: Nate Freese
When Freese drills a game-winner at Lambeau in Week 17, it will be a Merry Christmas indeed.
Jeremy Reisman: Eric Ebron
This is a simple pick through process of elimination. Kyle Van Noy isn't ready to start the season. Travis Swanson likely won't see the field unless Dominic Raiola suffers an injury. The only other draft pick who will likely get any meaningful playing time is kicker Nate Freese, and I refuse to choose a kicker to be the Lions' rookie of the year. All of that being said, Ebron should have a good year. He promises to have a significant role in the offense this year, and will likely be a popular target to move the chains on third down. I think 600 yards and four touchdowns is a reasonable expectation for him in 2014.
Eric Shinabarger: Nate Freese
I wish Freese had more competition at this stage, but after surviving his training camp battle for the Lions' placekicking spot, I think he's the early favorite for rookie of the year. Kyle Van Noy's immediate future is a large question mark as he recovers from an injury. Eric Ebron could have a phenomenal year, but he will split playing time (and touches) with Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. The rest of the Lions' 2014 class remains buried on the depth chart. Being compared to David Akers' 2013 performance will not hurt Freese's chances, either.