Michael Williams to Lions: How Does Tight End Fit in Detroit?

Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent IMarch 20, 2017

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 27:  Michael Williams #89 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates a touchdown reception from AJ McCarron #10 against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 27, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions were in need of a third tight end, so they drafted Alabama's Michael Williams in the seventh round. It isn't a pick that will excite the masses, but it does serve a purpose.

Read on to find out how.

 

Role

Williams’ best-known attribute is his blocking. He is a tenacious run-blocker who is often referred to as an extra offensive tackle. 

He has the ability to be a real asset in the run game—especially now that Riley Reiff will be joining the starting lineup, there is a hole in the jumbo set. Williams could slide into that spot and help the short-yardage offense tremendously.

As for his role in the passing game, it will be extremely limited and simplified. He'll occasionally release out of the jumbo or three tight end sets and float into the flats. If no one covers him, Matthew Stafford will find him for a few yards if no other option is available. 

Williams will catch the ball when it's thrown his way. I don't mean to demean his receiving abilities, but the players who will surround him will be much better playmakers. 

 

Early Impact

Williams won’t have much of a quantifiable impact on the Detroit Lions' season. As mentioned above, he will certainly improve Detroit's conversion rate on short third downs and will definitely improve the -3.6 rushing grade the Lions earned behind the tight end, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). 

Other than that, Williams will catch a few passes to keep defenses honest, but Stafford has way too many other options to rely on Williams more than once a game.

Stats: 10 catches, 113 yards, 1 touchdown