Can Luke Wilson be the Lions’ next Eric Ebron?

Can Luke Willson be the Detroit Lions’ next Eric Ebron?

While Ebron was a lightning rod for criticism from fans for his inconsistency, his drops, his lack of production and his outspokenness, he was the Lions’ primary offensive-minded tight end the four years.

Certainly, no one would expect Willson to inhabit all of Ebron’s traits. But the Lions will need someone, and most likely Willson, to step into Ebron’s role of being the primary offensive tight end.

“Yeah, I’m confident in my abilities,” Willson said this week. “But again, right now, I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into doing just one role. I just want to be able go out there, prove myself.

“These coaches got to get to learn, know me, you know, and let them decide what my role will be. Whether that’s pass-catching, whether that’s special teams, whether it’s in the run game, whatever they want me to do. I’m here to help win ball games. That’s it.”

The Lions’ signed Willson to a one-year deal in March as their NFC North rivals snapped up premier tight ends in free agency. The Green Bay Packers signed Graham and the Chicago Bears signed Trey Burton.

Like all players at this early stage of the NFL season, Willson said he feels he has untapped potential. Maybe it will turn him into the Lions’ next Ebron, or Brandon Pettigrew, or any number of players the Lions have been hoping would serve as their dependable pass-catching tight end. Maybe he’ll even be the next David Sloan, Willsons’ position coach at Rice and the Lions’ last tight end to make the Pro Bowl.

“Yeah, when I was in college it was fun,” said Willson, who grew up a Lions fan in the Windsor suburb of LaSalle, Ontario. “Again, being a youngster and having Dave Sloan as the guy you’re playing with in ‘Madden’ and stuff, to have him as a coach, it was cool. You know, just some of the stories about guys you always wonder.

“So me and coach Sloan would, when we were not talking about football stuff at Rice, we would kind of talk about the glory days of the Lions, so it was a cool experience for me.”

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