Our latest series on the Detroit Lions roster continues with a comparison of the tight end position from 2012 to 2013. Did the Lions improve at tight end? Let's take a look.
2012 TEs: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller
2013 TEs: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Michael Williams, Joseph Fauria, Matt Veldman
After having the same group of tight ends for each of the last three seasons, the Lions mixed things up a bit this offseason by not re-signing Will Heller. They opted to replace him with Michael Williams, who was drafted out of Alabama in the seventh round. The Lions also added undrafted free agent Joseph Fauria and former Jacksonville Jaguar Matt Veldman, who both stand at 6-7.
Did they improve?
The very fact that there has been discussion about keeping four tight ends for a change indicates that there is currently more talent at tight end. They got younger by swapping out Heller for Williams, and Fauria and Veldman are both intriguing players because of their size. Even if they don't make the team, the Lions have improved their overall talent at the position.
What about compared to 2011?
2011 TEs: Brandon Pettigrew, Tony Scheffler, Will Heller
Considering the Lions had the same tight ends in 2011 as they did in 2012, the answer above also applies here. The Lions, at least on paper, have more talent at tight end now than they did in the last few years.
(Note: Players listed from 2011 and 2012 are based on the Lions' Week 1 roster in those seasons.)