The MACtion continues in the 2017 NFL Draft as Toledo’s Michael Roberts was selected in the fourth round with the 127th overall selection by the Detroit Lions.
Roberts becomes the second Rocket selected and the sixth MAC alum selected in this year’s NFL Draft — the second to the Lions, joining NIU's Kenny Golladay. Kareem Hunt, Roberts' teammate, was a third-round selection for the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is the first time the Rockets have had multiple prospects drafted since 2008 (John Greco and Jalen Parmele).
The Lions, Roberts’ new home, finished last season at 9-7 with a loss to Seattle in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs. On the offensive side of the ball, he joins former first round pick Eric Ebron and newly acquired Darren Fells at the tight end position.
Roberts was an intriguing professional prospect and at 6’4” and 270 pounds Roberts provides an immediate large target threat for Matthew Stafford to throw to. He has high potential and with the right growth and coaching, the sky is the limit. At its most basic, there are very few tight ends that give the amount of upside that Roberts does. If the Lions can build a foundation of blocking (which he has struggled with) then he is suddenly a very versatile and difficult to defend player.
What won’t need development (because it’s already there) is Roberts’ nose for the end zone and his ability to make the tough grab regardless of coverage. Those are skills which cannot be taught to Roberts’ proficiency, and he already has them in spades.