Coming off a 6-10 finish and second straight year missing the playoffs, the Detroit Lions head into the offseason with plenty of needs.
The team will attempt to address them in the 2019 NFL draft, which is April 27-29, and Monday was the deadline for players to declare. MLive will look at positions of need for the Lions and the top prospects available in the draft.
Today’s position: Tight end
The Lions have the No. 8 overall pick in the draft and will be selecting in the top 10 for the first time since 2014. That year Detroit took tight end Eric Ebron No. 10 overall.
Ebron spent four seasons with the Lions before being cut in March to save $8.25 million in cap space after the team couldn’t trade him. He had 186 catches for 2,070 yards and 11 touchdowns in Detroit but struggled with drops and was heavily criticized by fans.
After signing a two-year contract with the Indianapolis Colts, Ebron posted career-best numbers this season (66 receptions for 750 yards and 13 touchdowns) while being named to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
Drafting Ebron 10th didn’t work out how the Lions hoped but the position is one of need after Detroit’s tight ends combined for just 45 receptions for 461 yards and four touchdowns this season. Here’s a look at 10 of the top tight ends available in the draft, along with a couple local prospects: