LIONS INSIDER

What does the addition of Eric Ebron mean for Joe Fauria?

Posted May 8, 2014

The Lions drafted TE Eric Ebron Thursday night. Where does that leave tight end Joe Fauria?

The Detroit Lions selected tight end Eric Ebron with the 10th overall pick Thursday night. The pick makes sense after head coach Jim Caldwell and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi explained how they plan to use Ebron is a similar role that Jimmy Graham played in New Orleans.

But where does that leave tight end Joe Fauria?

Joe FauriaTE Joe Fauria (Photo: Gavin Smith)

Fauria stormed onto the scene last year as an undrafted player out of UCLA. He became a terrific red zone weapon for the Lions, scoring seven touchdowns. The jury is still out, however, if he can be a threat between the 20-yard lines.

In Ebron, the Lions have that threat, but that doesn’t mean Fauria can’t still have a role.

“Listen, Joseph is still going to have a strong role in the red zone,” Lombardi said. “There is nothing to say that we aren’t going to have three tight ends on the field at some point. Every game is different, every game plan is different, but Joe has impressed me in the short time we have been able to work with him.

“I think it is bad for a player to look at, ‘Hey, we just drafted a guy at my position. That means that I am out of favor.’ Joe is not out of favor. He is still going to have a big role for us.”

At 6-foot-7, 255 pounds Fauria is too big for corners and too athletic for linebackers to cover him in the red zone. The Lions selected Ebron for what he brings them between the 20-yard lines, a big-play threat down the seam.

But they still like what Fauria brings to the table in the red zone.

“Obviously they are two different guys in terms of their skill level,” Caldwell said of Ebron and Fauria. “Joe has a skill level and Eric has a skill level but he is a little different type of guy. We will be able to utilize every bit of talent that we have, that’s for certain. I can tell you when you talk to Matthew Stafford he will tell you that you can never have too many weapons and this just adds another weapon for us.”