Lions sign defensive tackle with ties to defensive line coach Terrell Williams

The Lions have signed a defensive lineman with ties to defensive line coach Terrell Williams.
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News came earlier on Tuesday that the Detroit Lions are bringing back safety C.J. Moore after he was reinstated from a gambling suspension. But he's not the only free agent they agreed to terms with for the day, as defensive tackle Kyle Peko is also coming aboard.

Peko is an eight-year veteran. He initially signed with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State in 2016. He's played for four teams (Broncos, Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans) and spent time with five franchises (add the Indianapolis Colts), including two stints with the Broncos (2016-2017, 2019) and two stints with the Titans (2021 and 2023).

Those two years with the Titans of course means he spent time with Terrell Williams, who was hired as the Lions' defensive line coach this offseason.

Last season, Peko played a career-best 13 games with a career-high 10 starts and he played, wait for it, a career-high 342 defensive snaps. He had 22 total tackles and two tackles for loss last year.

All13 of Peko's career starts have come in his two years with the Titans, and with Williams as his position coach.

Lions add defensive line piece Tyrell Williams presumably endorsed

Peko (6-foot-1, 305 pounds) has played across the defensive front, from nose tackle to a heavy end. His raw numbers and Pro Football Focus grades have never been outstanding, but despite being fairly well-traveled there's something to be said for now entering a ninth NFL season after being a UDFA. That seems to make him the kind of player who will fit in nicely with the Lions; a quintessential grinder.

It's also fair to assume this signing comes with a strong endorsement from Williams. Peko now joins rookie Mehki Wingo and second-year man Brodric Martin behind DJ Reader and Alim McNeill at defensive tackle. He's also cousins with Domata Peko, a former Michigan State standout who played 15 years in the NFL (2006-2020).