When camp begins, NFL teams typically give their high draft picks as much of a chance to succeed as possible.

By picking someone early, teams are investing their future in those players and want to see how quickly they can show a return.

Ezekiel Ansah and Darius Slay, first- and second-round picks for the Lions this year, likely will spend all their time with the first- or second-team defenses to see if they can fill the void at end and cornerback, respectively.

But later-round picks — like running back Theo Riddick and tight end Michael Williams — have to try to earn a spot on the 53-man roster with limited snaps in camp and by shining during exhibitions.

“You can’t think about that part of it. You need to go in and just do your part,” said Williams, a seventh-round pick from Alabama. “You’ve been playing this game since you were 5 or 6 years old, don’t let the level of competition change it. All you’ve got to do from college to the pros is catch up with the speed. Once you catch up with the speed, it’s just football.”

Williams’ best chance at a spot is if his role doesn’t change from what he did at Alabama, serving primarily as a blocking tight end. The Lions let Will Heller walk in free agency, so there is a hole for tight end or H-back with an emphasis on blocking.

Williams, however, will be playing behind Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler, and fullback Shaun Chapas likely will have a chance to battle for Heller’s role. Williams also has to fend off undrafted free agent Joseph Fauria (UCLA), whose pass-catching ability could give him a leg up.

In order to adjust to the speed and style of the NFL, Williams said he spent most of minicamp and OTAs seeking advice from Pettigrew and Scheffler, who were both helpful despite being in the final year of their contracts.

“I’ve learned a lot from them — basically everything,” Williams said. “I’m the type of person that learns visually, so I see what they do, I watched them in past years and what they’re doing this year. Then I just go into it and just try to mimic what they do.”