Pittsburgh Steelers fans finally got a glimpse of what Eric Ebron can do in the black and yellow.
Ebron, the former first-round pick, caught his first touchdown as a member of the Steelers in Week 3. The score continued what has been an impressive career resurgence for Ebron, who only a few years ago looked like a major draft bust.
Eric Ebron resembled a bust in Detroit
When the Detroit Lions invested the 10th overall pick on Ebron, an AP All-American tight end from North Carolina, in the 2014 NFL draft, new head coach Jim Caldwell thought he had Matthew Stafford’s long-term tight end option.
Caldwell had watched the combination of Peyton Manning and Dallas Clark thrive in Indianapolis, so what could stop Stafford and Ebron from doing the same?
Ebron flashed at times in Detroit, but never broke out the way the Lions thought he would. Ebron caught 292 passes for 3,308 yards and 28 touchdowns in four years — not bad numbers, but not enough to justify taking a tight end with a top-10 pick.
Detroit moved on from Ebron after the 2017 season, which was also Caldwell’s last in the Motor City. Former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia arrived and decided Detroit would go in another direction.
Ebron revived his career in Indianapolis
The Indianapolis Colts signed Eric Ebron in March 2018, hoping he’d be a reclamation project and a perfect fit with new head coach Frank Reich.
Ebron, who signed a two-year contract worth $15 million, did that and more in his first year with the Colts. Ebron set career-highs in catches (66), receiving yards (750), and touchdowns (13) in 2018, earning Pro Bowl honors for the first time.
The veteran tight end also turned eight playoff catches into 77 yards and a touchdown.
Ebron’s numbers dipped to 31 catches, 375 yards, and three touchdowns in 11 games last year before an ankle injury ended his season early.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are using Eric Ebron perfectly
Eric Ebron signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers in March.
Ben Roethlisberger has always used tight ends to his advantage, especially when Heath Miller donned the black and yellow, and Pittsburgh thought they could turn the 27-year-old Ebron into a reliable weapon in their offense.
It’s been so far, so good for Ebron, who turned nine catches into 113 yards and a touchdown in his first three games.
Six of Ebron’s nine catches went for first downs, including his first touchdown — a 10-yard catch from Roethlisberger in a Week 3 victory over the Texans.
As of publication, Ebron was available in over 64% of ESPN’s fantasy football leagues. Considering Ebron played over 70% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps in Pittsburgh’s last two games, fantasy owners may want to rectify that and add Ebron sooner rather than later.
Pittsburgh had an unexpected Week 4 bye week because of the Titans’ problems with COVID-19. The Steelers host Carson Wentz and the Eagles (1-2-1) in Week 5.
Eric Ebron still has plenty of time to continue building his career after things went wrong in Detroit. According to Spotrac, Ebron will have earned over $30 million after this season — and at this rate, the bank account is on pace to keep growing.