Detroit came into the NFL Draft with a pretty big need at tight end. Though the Lions added a blocking tight end in Darren Fells in free agency, they have little-to-no depth beyond him and Eric Ebron.
Enter Toledo’s Michael Roberts. Roberts is a huge target to add to the Lions’ offensive arsenal, which also now has the big-bodied receiver Kenny Golladay at their disposal.
Roberts’ 2016 season really turned heads around the nation. Catching 45 passes for 533 yards and a whopping 16 touchdowns, Roberts easily earned first-team All-MAC honors.
As his stats suggest, Roberts is an excellent red zone option that could help replace the production left by Anquan Boldin’s (current) absence. But Roberts’ best quality for the Lions is his ability to run block. Per NFL.com:
Very capable run blocker. Operates from strong base and utilizes lengths well. Sinks hips to brace up and neutralize defensive ends with leverage and uses hips and shoulder turn to steer out of the play. Has experience blocking from in-line and from wing spot.
However, Roberts still needs to work on his route-running and he’s nowhere near as athletic as Eric Ebron.
That being said, you have to wonder how this pick affects the Lions’ decision to pick up Ebron’s fifth-year options. The Lions must make a decision by May 2 whether to exercise this option, which would pay Ebron $8.25 million for the 2018 season.
Lions 2017 draft picks:
- Round 1, Pick 21 (21 overall): LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Round 2, Pick 21 (53 overall): CB Teez Tabor, Florida
- Round 3, Pick 32 (96 overall): WR Kenny Golladay, Northern Illinois
- Round 4, Pick 16 (124 overall): LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee
- Round 4, Pick 20 (128 overall): TE Michael Roberts, Toledo
Lions remaining picks
- Round 5, Pick 21 (165 overall)
- Round 6, Pick 21 (205 overall)
- Round 6, Pick 31 (215 overall) - Via Patriots from Kyle Van Noy Trade
- Round 7, Pick 32 (250 overall) - Via Patriots from Michael Williams Trade
Top remaining needs for Lions:
- Defensive end
- Defensive tackle
- Running back
Cornerback Tight end
- Free safety
NFL Draft schedule
What: Rounds 4-7 of the NFL Draft
When: Saturday, April 29, Noon ET
Where: Philadelphia, PA
TV: NFL Network, ESPN
Time per pick: Rounds 4-6: 5 minutes; Round 7: 4 minutes
Estimated time of Lions picks:
- Pick 165 overall: 3:15 p.m. ET
- Pick 205 overall: 4:55 p.m. ET
- Pick 215 overall: 5:15 p.m. ET
- Pick 250 overall: 6:30 p.m. ET
Grade the Lions’ second fourth-round selection
This poll is closed