The Lions had been rumored to be in discussions with several teams leading up to the draft in hopes of landing Sammy Watkins, but when the dust settled they decided to add an athletic tight end in Eric Ebron out of the University of North Carolina.
This is surprising on multiple levels, but so very LOLions. The Lions need help in the defensive secondary, and had their choice of Kyle Fuller, Darqueze Dennard, or eventual Packers pick Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix. They also need another weapon at wide receiver and could have selected Odell Beckham Jr. In the end, The Lions went with a playmaking tight end who could be used as a big wide receiver within the Lions offense.
This selection could be a sign that the organization is losing patience with Brandon Pettigrew, but I believe the team simply saw Mike Evans, Justin Gilbert, and Anthony Barr go off the board and they panicked. The Lions appear to have adopted a philosophy of "Our defense may be a dumpster fire, but at least our offense can score points."
We'll see if the Lions are simply using Ebron or Pettigrew as trade bait or not, but right now it appears they have decided to fill a need at wide receiver with an athletic tight end.