Lions move big tight end Michael Williams to tackle

Getty Images

As a seventh-round draft pick last season, Lions tight end Michael Williams never got on the field. He’ll try to earn some playing time this year at a new position, as the Lions have confirmed that Williams has been moved from tight end to offensive tackle.

“He’s a guy with size and he’s athletic and it’s one of those things, too, where the guy had to fight to keep his weight down,” Lions head coach Jim Caldwell said of Williams. “He came back and he was somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. You don’t see too many 300-pound tight ends. He’s a big guy.”

Caldwell plans to use his tight ends — first-round pick Eric Ebron and holdovers Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria — as receivers first and blockers second, and that means Williams wasn’t going to be a good fit in the new offense. So the 6-foot-6 Williams says he’s working on getting stronger and trying to make the team as a lineman.

“We’ve been talking about this for a while it was just up to me to make that decision,” Williams said. “I just felt like I could prolong my career this way. My style of tight end has not been used as much in the NFL. It’s just about me building my muscles and not just trying to gain weight. You have to gain the right weight.”

Williams has an uphill battle to make the Lions’ 53-man roster. But changing positions gives him a chance.