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Lions free agent profile: Getting to know DT Nick Williams with Windy City Gridiron

Getting to know the Lions new defensive tackle

NFL: New York Giants at Chicago Bears Kena Krutsinger-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that the Detroit Lions’ defensive line was really bad in 2019. Prior to free agency, it got even worse when the Lions released starting nose tackle Damon Harrison Sr. So, needless to say, the Lions were going to be active in the defensive lineman world when it came to free agency.

Enter former Bears defensive tackle Nick Williams. It’s an interesting move when you consider some of the facts. First off, Williams is 30 years old. He’s been in the league since 2014 and has played for four teams and started five games. All five of those starts came last year with the Bears. Want another fact? Williams never recorded a sack in his career until last season when he got six in one year, including this one.

Nevertheless, we needed to know more about Williams. So we got in touch with the only Bears guy we can stand. Mr. Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. of Windy City Gridiron gave us some answers on Williams. Here’s what he had to say.

Williams spent the last two seasons in Chicago and started five games last year. What sort of impression did he make?

“From what I understand, he’s a good locker room guy and his teammates all loved him. He was great with the fans the last couple year at camp too. He went from small Samford college to seventh-round draft pick in 2013, to being cut a couple times, then no football at all in 2017, before latching on with the Bears in 2018 as a backup nose tackle that only dressed twice, to finally breaking out at 29 years old last year.“

What are his strengths?

“He’s a high effort player and a workout fiend (as evidenced by his double gun salute sack dance). He played mostly on the interior for the Bears, but can play 5-tech DE too. He has good hands and is stout against the run. “

What are his weaknesses?

“Most of his sacks and pressures came in the first half of the season, so it’s possible he started to run out of some gas late.”

What kind of upside does Williams have at this point? He’s 30 years old and has only started five games since 2014. What do the Lions have here?

“He turned 30 a month ago, so at this point in his career he’s a ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of player, but he’ll give good effort and be a quality part of the Lions d-line rotation.”

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.