Former Crimson Tide tight end, Michael Williams will be making a move this offseason. No, he’s not switching teams. However, the seventh round pick of the 2013 NFL Draft will move over one position on the offensive line, from tight end, to offensive tackle.
After the Lions drafted Eric Ebron tenth overall in this year’s draft, it became apparent that there may not be room for the second year Lion at the tight end position.
Lions assistant director of pro personnel, and former tight end, Charlie Saunders actually hinted at this move in a conversation with The Detroit Free Press in June of 2013. Just two months after Williams was selected by Detroit.
“One thing about it, he’s not going to get any smaller, he’s 270 (pounds) now, so once he gets on a weight program and eating right, I could see him later on in his career moving inside.”
Williams spent his rookie season on injured reserve after breaking his hand in the preseason. His misfortune allowed undrafted free agent, Joseph Fauria to make the roster. Fauria went on to catch seven touchdowns in his rookie campaign.
With the newly drafted Ebron, the redzone threat in Fauria, and the re-signing of Brandon Pettigrew who has the best blocking skill set, Williams’ move was likely inevitable if he maintains any hope of making the 53-man roster. It also allows the Lions to add some depth at the tackle position.
Williams will compete for the fourth tackle spot with J.B. Shugarts and undrafted free agent Cornelius Lucas.
The change in position does not guarantee Williams makes the team however. His blocking skills are consistently praised, but he could still be a bit of a project for Detroit and may spent the season on the practice squad. Going in that direction would allow Williams time to polish his skills through the transition. He will also be looking to add roughly 20 pounds to his 6′ 5″ frame.