The Detroit Lions met with three tight ends prior to the 2013 NFL Draft. When two of the three targets came off the board in the third and fourth round, the Lions waited patiently to take their target. Michael Williams, from Alabama University, fell into the Lions’ lap in the seventh round.
In my mock draft, I had Williams as an alternate pick in the fifth round. With the 211th overall selection of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Lions took Williams to be their third string tight end. Williams was a contributor and starter on a team that appeared in several BCS National Championship Games. Williams will add to the depth at the tight end position.
The Lions added Williams to push starters Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler as well. Both Lions’ tight ends are in contract years. Williams will also see time in two tight end sets blocking for newly acquired running back Reggie Bush.
Blocking was Williams’ specialty while a member of the Crimson Tide. At the 2013 Senior Bowl, the Lions got an up close look at Williams. The Alabama tight end struggled in passing drills but excelled in blocking drills. In his playing career at Notre Dame, Williams caught only 30 passes. This number may come as a surprise and be a glaring weakness. Williams ended his career with 324 yards and four touchdowns.
Other Lions targets Dion Sims (4th round) and Travis Kelce (3rd round) offered more offensive upside in receiving roles. However, out of the three that were on the Lions’ list, this is the one that provides the best blocking attributes and can help the teams rushing attack that is now led by Bush.
Landing a player on your board in the seventh round is always a good sign. Williams will see playing time in the 2013 NFL season and could greatly boost the rushing attack of the Lions.